the nail files: snowy tips

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So despite my countless prayers, winter has arrived early.

To make myself feel better about it, I decided to do a pretty, winter-y mani.

(Side Note: It didn't really work, but I totally get bonus points for trying. Haha!)

For the base, I did two coats of Man Hunt on all fingers, and let it dry completely. Then, it was gradient time. I used my standard technique of brushing the polish right onto a triangular makeup sponge, starting with a stripe of Black Expressionism at the bottom of the sponge, followed by a stripe of Man Hunt and then Paper Mache on top. The coverage was pretty good after one coat, but I did a second because I'm obsessive about blending. Haha!

When that was dry, I got a flat nail art brush and added a half-ish coat of The Outer Edge and then topped it all off with two coats of There's Snow One Like You, which I put on with a dotting tool because it's all chunky. Ha!

While outside freezing my face off to take a natural light picture, I was suddenly inspired by Lulubelle's nature-y nail pictures and...well...next thing I knew, I had taken about fifty outdoor pics in various spots around the yard. Haha!

These two are my faves from the bunch:

What did your nails look like this week? Link up to show them off! I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!


the nail files: best hot pink sparkles ever!

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I went shopping with my mum on Wednesday, and we stopped into Sally's to check out all of the holiday sparkles. And man oh man, are there ever some goodies this year! So, this week, I'm sharing a mani that was inspired by one of my latest purchases: the incredibly beautiful Explosion of Fun, which is from ORLY's Sparkle collection. 

You don't really get a good enough look at Explosion of Fun in that pic, so here's a WAY better one. Haha!



And here's what I did with it:

To start, I did two coats of Black Expressionism on my pinky, pointer, and thumb, and two coats of Billie Jean on my middle and ring finger. When that was dry, I got to work on the gradient. With a triangular makeup sponge and painted three stripes of polish: Billie Jean, Tart-y for the Party, and Charged Up. Then, I sponged on two coats. After that was dry, I painted a thick stripe of Explosion of Fun onto the sponge, and dabbed it on the bottom almost-half. A coat of quick-dry top coat sealed it all in.

About half an hour later (just to be sure the polish was TOTALLY dry) I put on the five pieces of striping tape, pressed down firmly, and painted over them with Black Expressionism. A minute later, I peeled them off and added the stud. And even though I waited an entire hour, when I applied a top coat, it smudged, which made me feel a bit like this...

Haha! Okay, I didn't actually cry. But I sure swore a lot!

Anyway, when it was all said and done, the black nails were a tad plain, so I added a dot of Billie Jean, followed by a dot of Explosion of Fun, and VOILA! The mani was complete. Haha!

Doesn't it look like...well...an explosion of fun coming out of the silver stud? Haha!

(Side note: that may not have been the best name. Just saying.)

So even though it totally smudged, I don't really care. The sparkles are to-freaking-die, and terribly hard to capture in a picture (I took no less than sixty, yes SIXTY, for this post). If, like me, you've been on the lookout for an amazing hot pink sparkle to add to your collection, you'll need to blow off work and get a bottle before they sell out.

Have you found any incredible holiday sparkles that I should know about? Who's seen the new OPI Gwen collection? Is it as marvellous as it seems online? And don't forget to link up with your manis/reviews, as well as swing by Toria's blog for a Jamberry party! Woot woot for parties!! Happy weekend, everyone!

book review: first grave on the right

Disclaimer: The following review has A LOT of all-caps, because I can't help but SCREAM about how much I LOVE this book. You've been warned. Haha!

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson)

I was trolling around on Amazon, as one does when they're supposed to be cleaning the kitchen, when I saw this delightful cover. Before I even knew what this book was about, I was clicking Buy Now. I mean, metallic skull sandals, nice mani/pedi, huge statement ring, random weapon, and a monochromatic colour scheme with a pop of hot pink?! SOLD. Haha! Just to be sure, though, I read the description and considering this book is about Charley Davidson, a private-investigator-slash-grim-reaper, the witty title pushed me over the edge and I couldn't load it on my iPad fast enough.

And MAN, am I ever glad I did. I swear, I'm chuckling to myself right now just writing about it. Haha! <-- SEE?!?

The main character, Charley, is an absolute hoot. Her voice, guys and gals. HER VOICE. It's SO FREAKING FUNNY. It's not a purposeful funny, either, which is totally the hardest kind to write. Instead, it's the way Charley processes information--her personal lens of the world, if you will. It's so fresh and unique that I can't compare her to anyone else. This is first-person POV at its finest

And then there are the secondary characters. Cookie, her secretary/partner who is just as sassy and funny, and Charley's dad and uncle, who are cops that she helps...you know, because Charley's a grim reaper and can therefore speak to the dead. And the dead! They're hysterical! And creepy, of course. Some are VERY VERY creepy and I haven't been nearly as relaxed in the shower since reading FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, but they add a fantastic dimension to the plot, meaning that their addition creates a whole other sub-section of sub-plots. Does that make sense? Let's hope so. Ha!

Oh, and let's not forget the steam factor, because OH YES THERE IS A STEAM FACTOR. Of like, a hundred. Holy Fracking Love Interest, Batman. Reyes is an out-of-this-world hottie, which I mean in more ways than one. So if an incredibly hilarious, smart-ass heroine and a thriller/mystery plot including dead people isn't enough to pique your interest, then pick this book up for the hotness. Just make sure you have a fan nearby. You'll need it. 

But the very BEST part FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT? If you love it (which I'm pretty sure you will) then have no fear that the good times are over because you'll get to read all about Charley in another six books. Yes, guys and gals, there are seven--yes SEVEN--books in this series! In the time it's taken me to draft, proof, and post this review, I've already read the second. And it was just as much fun as this one, so the other five shall be mine soon. SOON, I SAY. You should do the same and then we can chat about how much we love Charley and Reyes. Mmmm...Reyes. ;)

I'm linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday! Head on over and check out some new reads! Get it? Check out? Haha! I'm not nearly as funny as Charley. ;)


the nail files: go wild!

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It's been a seriously long time since I've done any animal prints, and since I couldn't decide, I opted to do two, yes TWO different ones. Because I'm crazy like that. Haha!

I started with two coats of Rooney and when that was dry, got out a medium dotting too and made some blobs with Boundary of Memory. After that dried, I got out a smaller dotting tool, and surrounded each of the glitter blobs, with smaller, slightly curved blobs. Yes, in case you're wondering, blobs are where it's at. Haha!

After two coats of Paper Mache for a base, I got a long, skinny nail art brush and made the stripes with Black Expressionism. I find the Finger Paints polish is better than black Stripe Rite, because it goes on smoothly and doesn't need a second coat. To add some sparkle, I traced a few of the black lines with silver glitter Stripe Rite. 

What were you rocking this week? Link up and show off! And I hope you have an awesome weekend! 


poor unfortunate souls

Hey! So I'm reallllllllllly late for a Halloween post, but better late than never, right? Haha!

When I thought about what I wanted to be for Halloween this year, I decided it should be something that made use of my current boob situation. There's a new drug on the horizon, set to be FDA approved next year, and that means that my steroid-induced, ginormous rack could be on its way out. WOOT WOOT! Seriously. I don't know how you large-chested gals do it.

Now, as we all know, the majority of costumes for women are slutty versions of occupations/characters/superheroes/whatever, which was sooooooo not going to happen, but thankfully, I managed to think of a boob-central costume that wasn't super skanky...Ursula!

I usually make my own costumes completely from scratch, but I was quite nervous about the tentacle situation, so I found a dress that already had them and then modified it. And by "modified," I mean "added one million sequins." Haha!

I also made a Floatsum Jetsum shrug, because Ursula's nothing without her minions. Haha! I watched a YouTube tutorial for the makeup, and thank freaking goodness or I'd never have known how to cover up my eyebrows (spoiler: it takes FOREVER). 

Although not purposely coordinated, my pal was kind of an unfortunate soul, dressed as a Mexican Sugar Skull. 

And, of course, I did a matching mani of a purple-to-black gradient, with purple sparkles on the tips. 

When we were all set, we headed out for our super fun night on the town, which is where my super fun Halloween story begins...

My pal and I got tickets to see a cabaret performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, at 10 p.m., on Friday. I know, there seriously couldn't be a better production to see on Halloween. We were SUPER psyched, to put it mildly.

We arrived at the theatre to see that most of the audience members were dressed up. Some were Rocky characters while others, like us, opted for other costumes. No matter what people were dressed up as, though, they all looked fabulous.

We weren't expecting an intermission, as it was a cabaret and not the entire show, but it was a nice break as it gave us the chance to refresh our cocktails (an act that was heavily suggested by Rocky, himself, haha). Unfortunately, there were only two bartenders to serve over 100 people (no comment), so the line moved super slowly. So slowly, in fact, that the show started before we got our drinks. A very cute usher said that we could pop in after we got our drinks, so we continued our wait.

Just as we got to the bar (YAY) the usher tapped me on the shoulder.

"You're needed inside," he said.

I looked at my pal, and then back at the usher. "Uh," I said, "you know that we're in the audience, right? Why would they need us?"

"You," the usher corrected. "You're needed inside. Your friend can get your drink."

Confused, my pal said she'd get the drinks, and I followed the usher towards the theatre door. The second I stepped inside, the actress playing Columbia took my hand and dragged me up to the stage. Apparently, there was a costume contest and I'd gotten a bye to the finals. Haha!

Rocky instructed the four finalists, myself included, to do the Time Warp, which seemed like a no-brainer until the band played a country song. Needless to say, we looked like total idiots for the next three minutes. (Well played, Rocky.) When we were finished making complete asses of ourselves, Rocky told the audience that the winner would be decided by applause. 

Rocky went through the line, with a Rocky-scientist inspired gal getting a good amount of cheering, followed by a guy dressed up as a keg (who pretended to fill people's glasses while waiting in line--a man after my own heart, haha), and then another woman with impeccable Columbia costume. Considering we were at a Rocky show, she received a booming amount of applause, and I happily accepted that I wasn't going to win. Rocky got to me and, sure enough, I got a fair amount of applause, but nowhere near as much as the Columbia to my right.

Rocky, however, wasn't impressed.

I'm not totally sure what I was doing with my face here. Haha!

He looked into the audience, and with a hand on his hip, told them they could fuck right off (I should probably clarify that this was a kind of off-broadway kind of cabaret, and some liberties were taken with the swearing. Ha!). Then, he said he was "pulling a Simon Cowell," and declared me as the winner. Haha!! It was awesome! Plus, it was my first time ever winning a costume contest! 

After the show, my pal and I chatted with a few members of the cast, and then we continued on with our night. I must say, though, that the Rocky show, and my subsequent win in a costume contest we didn't know about was absolutely the highlight.



the nail files: peek a BOO

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It's time! It's time!


Nobody expresses my excitement level like Big Ang. #mobwivesforlife

In case you haven't noticed, I'm hella psyched. Haha! But how could I not be? It's finally dress up day, which is one of the top three days of the whole freaking year!

Woot Woot!!

And although the mani I'm sharing this week doesn't match my costume, it's still totally Halloween-y.

I started with two coats of Iconic Orange, and then did two coats of the gradient, using a triangular make-up sponge. When that was dry, I added white dots for the eyes with a large dotting tool, and added black pupils with a medium dotting tool. That's it, folks! And as much as Daniela likes to make fun of me for saying (loveyourfacegirl), it was a pretty simple mani! Haha!

What are your plans for tonight? What are you dressing up as? I WANT TO KNOW BECAUSE HALLOWEEN IS THE BEST (NO I DON'T CARE THAT I'M SCREAMING). Haha!

Don't forget to link up and show off your pretties!

Also, as a small announcement, Toria will be hosting a Jamberry party on her blog on Nov 14, so mark it in your calendars! There'll be some activities and the chance to win some prizes. :)


the nail files: glamorous ghosts

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Woot woot! It's Friday! Only two weeks until Halloween!

I've seen some mega scary nails out there for Halloween, but I'm a total scardy-cat, so I'm opting for a more fun loving kind of mani. Please keep your shredded tips to yourself.


I kept it pretty simple, using only black and white.

Believe it or not, this was a really easy mani. I applied two coats of base colour and then let it dry for a while. With the brush from the bottle, I used Paper Mache to make the ghosts. A few black dots for the eyes and the mouth and voila! Ghosts!

I've been on another nail art supplies binge and picked up some neon studs a couple of weeks ago. There were some small neon orange circles, so I added them, followed by some rhinestones because I seriously cannot handle a mani without some sparkle.

The rhinestones are hard to see with the indoor picture, but BAM, did they stand out when I went outside. Haha!

Are you rocking Halloween nails already? If so, what are you wearing? And don't forget to link up and show off. Happy weekend!

(Also? Anyone else singing Fergie in their head? Whenever I see the word glamourus, I have to spell it. Fergie style. Haha!)


the nail files: triangular tips

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This week, my mani didn't turn out quite as I envisioned. Ugh. I just hate when that happens, don't you? I mean, the end result was okay, but I'll probably end up trying the same design but with different colours. C'est la vie, right?

I started with two coats of Intelligence, Integrity & Courage and when that was dry, got out my painter's tape and started cutting strips. I placed them along the top of each nail (or bottom, in the case of my middle finger), creating a triangle. I rubbed the edges of the tape with my finger a couple of times to get a good seal, and then added two coats of Pool Party

After that was dry-ish, I peeled off the tape and then waited for it to dry, fully. The final touch was the white border, where I used standard Stripe Rite.

I think this mani's problem was putting the pink over the grey. I'd imagined a super bright pop of pink, but it ended up looking way more orangey-red. Not the worst, but still a booooo. Haha!!

Did you have better luck than me? What did your nails look like this week? Link up and show 'em off!

book review: the enchanted

When I first heard of THE ENCHANTED, I was cautiously curious. I mean, I like darker books—ones that take place in unusual settings and with unreliable narrators—but I really had no idea what I was getting into. It’s like The Green Mile meets The Brothers Grimm with a touch of American Horror Story, which is a seriously intense combination that Rene Denfeld pulls off like a freaking boss.

 The Enchanted: A Novel

Another way I’d describe THE ENCHANTED would be like getting tickets to a symphony, but arriving to see one woman, sitting at a piano in the middle of the stage. You’re not sure what’s going on as she begins to play, because it sounds like she’s only using flats and sharps, and you're left squirming in your seat because it’s too strange a sound. But somehow, the song grows and evolves, eventually filling the room and bringing everyone to their feet for a standing ovation…which is when you realize that (a) you're weeping, and (b) the song hadn't gotten better because the pianist used different notes, but because somehow, those uncomfortable moments opened up your mind and you were truly able to hear the melody. In other words: The song didn't change, you changed. 

Whoa. That was deep. Haha!

Okay, I may have gone overboard there, but THE ENCHANTED is an incredibly difficult book to review because of its uniqueness. It’s a book that’s full of contradictions, and not just the ones you’d expect. It flips the truth on its head and gives you an entirely different perspective, but only if you’re open to seeing it.

The writing was elegant and, for lack of a better word, enchanting. (Way to pick a good title, Harper.) But it was haunting as well. The death row inmate who helps narrate the story escapes the badness of his life by re-imaging the world he lives in, giving the crumbling old prison a chance to be something else. And with descriptions like a pack of golden horses running underneath the prison, which the narrator uses when describing earthquakes, how could I not get swept away?

We never learn the narrator's name, nor do we learn why he’s on death row (although there are some hints). Instead, the plot focuses on an investigator, the Lady, as she attempts to save another inmate’s life. We learn all about that inmate, both through Lady and the un-named prisoner narrator, and that’s where the theme of humanity really shines through. Kind of like a supernova, actually.  

From what you’re read of my review so far, I think it’s clear that this book isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth reading because it’s just so…excellent. Like, on every level: character development, imagery, craft, and the provoking plot is sewn into the prose like only the most talented writers can do.

So if you’re in the market for an unexpected tale of darkness and humanity that will leave you wondering what the heck you just read (in the best possible way), then THE ENCHANTED is for you.

Linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday! Mosey on over and rustle up some new reads! Haha!



belated (and slightly braggy) thanksgiving

In the last four years, my domestic duties have pretty much stopped taken a sharp nosedive slacked. Back in the day, I sometimes spent upwards of a few hours preparing a gourmet, from-scratch dinner that included anything from lasagna with homemade noodles and sauce, stuffed chicken breasts, and savoury crêpes. But all that changed once I fell in love with writing, and now we mostly eat simple things that one could probably find on a toddler's favourite food list. You know: fish sticks, pasta, frozen pizza...all the good stuff that has limited nutritional value but can be cooked in less than twenty minutes. Mmmmm...(kind of, anyway). 

So this Thanksgiving, I decided to really do Thanksgiving. Even though it was just the three of us (The Remix, my Baby Brother, and me) I figured that I'd pull out all the stops. The result was one of the best meals I've ever made, which is why I took about a thousand pictures because I was super proud of myself. Haha! 

I opted for ham instead of turkey because touching uncooked poultry is mega gross and ham is way easier. Haha!

There were also mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and local corn on the cob. As well as a homemade loaf of bread and an apple pie, made from local apples and a whole lotta butter (thanks, Martha! haha!).

I got the little pumpkins at the grocery store. Aren't they cute?

I know I'm biased but man, was that ever a delicious plate. Haha!

 One of the things I'm thankful for? These two guys. I lucked out in the brother and partner department. Like, big time. We all wrote what we were thankful for on these adorable mini trucker hats, in order to keep to the theme. And because the hats were hilarious.

Mine read: Family, Fur Babies, Friends (and this awesome hat).

We took a break before dessert, because our bodies needed time to process the first round of face-stuffing, and it worked out fine because it gave me time to warm up the pie, which I made the day before.

There really is nothing like warm apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream. 

*sighs happily*

And because I'm not only a super awesome cook but also a super awesome fur baby mama, Pickle and Pepi also got to partake in the feast. They were extremely excited.

We ate until our pants couldn't take anymore and then we moved to the living room to hang out. After that, The Remix did the dishes. Like, all of them, which was probably one of things that I was most thankful for. 

Because I really hate doing dishes. Haha!