Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sailing on a Movie Star -The Schooner Woodwind II in Annapolis, MD

A couple of weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I had the privilege of sailing aboard The Schooner
Woodwind II in Annapolis, MD. It was a perfect day for sailing and it was the perfect boat to sail on!

The Woodwind is a beautiful, 74-foot wooden schooner with tall, majestic sails and it just so happens to be a movie star to boot, having been featured in "Wedding Crashers." It is available for public and private cruises every day of the week, with the public cruises lasting 2 hours.

We drove to Annapolis from Leesburg, VA for the 4 o'clock public cruise and thanks to Northern Virginia traffic, we ended up stuck on the highway and made it to the boarding dock with literally two minutes to spare!

Thank God we made it in time to board because the 6 o'clock sunset cruise was booked up. And we really would have missed out on an amazing time if we had not been able to sail!

We set off from the harbor of Annapolis with at least a dozen other people and immediately took notice of the Naval Academy. I grew up in Annapolis and spent almost every weekend boating, many times by the Naval Academy and harbor, so this was like coming home to me.

One of the best parts about sailing on The Woodwind is that you get to be part of the crew by either helping to hoist the sails or steer the boat if you wish. My husband Matt was the first to hoist a sail with a few others and then I got to take a turn:

My daughter Natalie took the helm toward the end of the sail and she had such a blast!

There was another child who steered us for awhile too. I love that they let children take an active role in sailing the boat!

Here's video of Natalie navigating us through the wake of a very large speed boat:

It made my husband and I very happy to see Natalie enjoying herself so much and we were definitely loving every minute ourselves!

The winds were strong enough that we were able to sail all the way out to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Some days, the wind is strong enough to sail as far as the Thomas Point Lighthouse, another favorite place from my childhood boating memories.

During the sail, we were able to look at a photo album filled with pictures from the filming of "Wedding Crashers" and it was very cool to see that Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachael McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Walken all sailed on the same boat that we were on.
From left: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and Rachael McAdams

Christopher Walken "steering" the boat (see Captain Jen steering it for real from below).

Isla Fisher and Vince Vaughn

We may not have been on the sunset cruise, but the sun was setting as we headed back to the harbor, and it was stunningly beautiful to see it on the water!

Here's a video that shows just how perfect the winds were and how much fun it was to sail on the Woodwind (note the "pirate ship" in the distance).

As you can hear from Rena, who is part of the Woodwind crew, a complimentary beverage (soda or water) is part of your sail for the public cruise and a cash bar is available as well. There are lots of local beers to choose from and you also receive a complimentary snack.

If you live in the DMV area or are planning to visit, I highly recommend a sail on board the Schooner Woodwind II! It's a perfect activity for birthdays, anniversaries, date night, etc.

Check out the Schooner Woodwind website for more information on booking, events, pricing and more. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Disclosure: My family and I received a complimentary sail to facilitate this review, but opinions stated are never influenced by comp products/events.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jamberry Nails - Review and Giveaway

I am a girly-girl and I love making sure my nails look their best. So I was thrilled to learn about Jamberry Nails via Independent Consultant Joann Puckett.

Joann sent me a few complimentary sets of nail shields to try to facilitate my review and wow, did I fall in love with them! Jamberry Nail shields are vinyl nail shields that stick to the nail via adhesive. Because they are not made from nail polish as some competing brands are, they last much longer and are much more durable.

Here are a several highlights of what Jamberry Nails have to offer:

  • Lasts up to 2 weeks on fingers and 6 weeks on toes.
  • Applied via heat source (hair dryer) which activates the adhesive on the back of the shields and then forms a water tight seal on the nail.
  • They do not chip since they are not made from nail polish. They are made from a type of thin vinyl which is also latex-free.
  • They are safe for acrylics or can be used for acrylic encapsulation.
  • Each sheet does 2 to 4 sets of mani/pedis.

My absolute favorite thing about Jamberry Nails is the wide selection of adorable and classy styles! There are so many, in fact, that it was hard to choose just a few. Here are the ones I ended up picking:

The top design, Paint Splatter, I chose for a Coldplay concert my husband and I were attending. The graffiti-like color matched Coldplay's tour theme perfectly:

Here I am wearing them the day before the show:

The other patterns I chose are (from top to bottom), Birds (because my husband and I met on Twitter), Teal Sparkle, and Gray Plaid:

The application process was the most difficult part, but mostly because this was my first time using Jamberry Nails and there is a learning curve involved. But for the quality that you get over that of regular nail polish, the extra effort is worth it in my opinion.

Here's an instructional video that explains how to apply the nail shields:

Each set comes with written instructions as well. The only things you will need are a hair dryer, alcohol or alcohol wipes (to make sure the nail bed is completely free from oils which can prevent the shields from sticking well), a cuticle pusher if desired (I just use my other nails to push my cuticles down), a nail file and scissors...basically things you most likely already have around the home. Tweezers are also helpful for holding the shield while heating it.

I have petite fingers and toes so one of my concerns was having shields that fit me. Because the sheets are customizable, however, it was no problem at all finding and shaping them to fit each of my nails perfectly. I have the added benefit of getting more use out of the shields as well since I don't require a lot of the shield for each nail (I'm guessing I'll probably get at least 3 uses out of each design for fingers and toes).

Thanks to Joann, one lucky reader of So a Blonde Walks Into a Review will win 3 Jamberry nail shield design sheets of their choice as well as a bottle of Jamberry Nail Care Cuticle Oil for a total product value of $55!

With so many designs to choose from, I bet the winner has just as hard of a time selecting their colors as I did!

Can't wait to see if you're the lucky winner? Head on over to Joann's Jamberry Nails website and order your favorite colors right now! And be sure to like her Facebook page for specials, deals, tips and offers!

To enter this fantastic giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post stating why you'd like to win, then use the RaffleCopter widget below to complete your entry. There are additional, bonus ways to enter (follow the instructions on RaffleCopter) but the first (commenting on this post) is mandatory.

By entering, you automatically agree to all the rules and disclaimers listed here. Please also see my disclosure policy here. Deadline to enter is 12:01 a.m. EST, Tuesday, August 14, 2012. Good luck!

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