19.9.14

book review: the incarnate trilogy


I'm finally catching up on my book reviews! Yay! I've read some incredible titles over the last couple of months and I'm super psyched to share them with you, as well as the internet in general. Haha! 

This week, I'm reviewing the Incarnate trilogy, written by Jodi Meadows.

*bangs gong*


IncarnateAsunder (Incarnate)

Infinite (Incarnate)

Before I even get into my review, can we please talk about these covers? 

THESE COVERS, GUYS. 

*swoons*

In the history of all covers, these three are absolutely some of the prettiest I've ever seen. I can't even pick which one I love the most because they're each so freaking gorgeous. But the craziest part is that the story is even better than the covers, guys and gals. And yes, I know that may be hard to believe but it's true.  

I read these books as quickly as I could manage, and it was a glorious week and a half. If I had to come up with a three word description for this series it would be: a quiet storm. The plot doesn't scream at you, it whispers, sending tingles down your spine. But that's not to say that you aren't on the edge of your seat, because I sure as heck was. To put it another way, you know how if someone's speaking quietly in a loud room, you have to lean towards them in order to hear what they're saying? That's what the Incarnate trilogy is like. The beauty of this trilogy--the element that sets it apart from other YA fantasies--stems from its thoughtful and understated tone and and I was hooked from the first page of INCARNATE, through ASUNDER, and was then forced to burn through the incredible INFINITE because I couldn't wait to see how it all turned out. Ugh, guys, these books are just so freaking good that I can't even handle it!! Haha!

*takes deep breath to combat surge of love in order to continue review*

Back to the plot. It's so freaking unique that it's difficult to explain and luckily, the back jacket for INCARNATE does a great job of summing it up, so I'm just going to defer to that:

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

So freaking cool, right? I mean, how did Ms. Meadows even come up with that? I won't share the rest of the back jacket descriptions, because then this review would be hella long and would be a little spoiler-y, but if you're at all piqued by INCARNATE then you may as well just buy the whole series because I can pretty much guarantee that you'll read all three. Probably in as many days, if you can fake sick to get off work. Haha!

Ana is an incredibly deep, thoughtful girl who, just like other teenagers, doesn't always make the best decisions but it doesn't matter because I cheered from her from start to finish. She's noble, serious, playful, and insightful, and she's become one of my favourite YA heroines. 

One of the elements I loved most about this series is how Ms. Meadows dealt with the hundreds-of-years-age-difference between Ana and Sam. I've always felt a bit icky rooting for relationships when they involve a teenager whose love interest has been around for centuries and the Incarnate trilogy addresses it right on. As in, it's literally a discussion in the book between Ana and Sam. That level of awareness made me love these books even more, and with the reasonings given, I was able to invest in the relationship and it added greatly to my overall enjoyment.

So basically, what I'm saying is that if you like YA fantasy or other world-building books or romances in general, you're going to want to give this trilogy a try. Like, immediately. If nothing else, you'll have the prettiest covers ever to stare at, but like I said at the beginning of this review, if you think the covers are gorgeous, you're going to fall head-over-heels for the writing. 

I'm linking up with Heather for book club friday! Stop by to check out some new reads! :)

the nail files: all the right angles

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***

Woot woot! It's Friday! 

FRIIIIIIIDAAAAAAAY!


This week, I had some pinspiration, which really is the best, right?
Neon Crazy #Nails - Trends Style For more fashion and wedding inspiration visit www.finditforweddings.com Nail art

I love the bright colours but since it's fall (*weeps silently*) I figured that I'd tone it down just a smidge. Or, as toned down as a mani can get when it has a total sparkle base coat. Haha!

What I used:

The mani:

The base coats are one coat of Rebel and one coat of Sparkle and Snowflake. The texture was pretty rough, so I filled it with two coats of quick dry top coat in order to get a smooth line for the colours. When that was dry (like way dry) I cut up strips of painter's tape to use for the triangles. I had proper striping tape but it's not very wide and I usually go over the lines, so I've taken to using painter's tape unless I want very thin stripes. 

Hint: if you use painter's tape, rub the edges quickly with a finger, to warm it up because that's the best way to make sure you've got a solid seal. And if you have a solid seal, then you can do two quick coats before peeling off the tape.


I used Do You Have This Colour In Stock-holm first, on my pinky, pointer finger, and thumb, while the other two fingers got I Sea The Point and Kiwi Cool-ada. I let that dry for a while, and then added the second layer of triangles, using after school boy blazer and Do You Have This Colour In Stock-holm.


Trying to make each finger look different was more of a challenge than I'd anticipated, but I think they ended up looking random enough. If I were to do it again, I think I'd make the triangles a bit wider, so they're less spot-light-y. Haha! I'm awesome at descriptions. ;)

I hope you all have an amazing weekend filled with the funnest of times!

And don't forget to link up and show off your nails! 

18.9.14

the time I won last friday

Without going into great detail, August was pretty much the worst month ever and so far, September hasn't been much better. It's at the point where I'm wondering if it's Karmic retribution for a past life, perhaps one when I was an innocent kitten killer or oppressive dictator because that's about how crappy it's been. But all of that crap made last Friday even better, so I guess I wasn't as bad in a past life as I'd feared. Thank goodness. Ha!  

First, I had my first reflexology appointment in a little place only about ten minutes from my house. It wasn't as great as the reflexology I had in New Brunswick (Go see Win! Shoot me an email if you want her contact info!) but it was okay enough. The real goodness of the appointment, however, came from where I parked--on the street, in front of a second hand store.

I hadn't been in before, and since I had time, I popped in. And it was in that store where I had my first real win of the day. Namely, finding matching sombreros.


Not only are these freaking hilarious, but they are also authentic, as demonstrated by their extreme weight. The Remix was thrilled to learn that we were now the proud owners of appropriate headwear for when we break out our margarita machine (not really). Haha!

Then the day REALLY upped its awesome game when I received an email with a 25%-off coupon for Chapters Indigo, so when The Remix came home, we went into town and I used the coupon to purchase these three babies:


So far, I've read ANATOMY OF A MISFIT and it was off-the-charts fabulous. Expect a formal review soon.

Here's the coolest part of this story, though. Turns out that THE NIGHT SEASON, which was a Bargain Book, priced at $2, was signed!

SIGNED!!


But not only that, when I took off the original discount sticker, I was floored to see that it was also a 1st Edition! MY FIRST SIGNED FIRST EDITION! EEEEEEE!

Clearly, this edition was mislabeled as a Bargain Book, but that error resulted in my triumph, so it all worked out. Haha!

But the day wasn't over yet, folks! The Remix and I still had some errands to run and they just happened to take us by a Great Canadian Bagel. It may sound strange, but one of the things I miss a lot about New Brunswick are the bagels from GCB because Ontario has very few locations, so whenever we pass one now, the unwritten rule is to pull over immediately and get the deal with eight bagels and a speciality cream cheese. Specifically, four cheddar jalapeño bagels, four cheddar swiss bagels, and a dill cream cheese. Mmmmm....dill cream cheese. Haha!

Well, turns out we'd rolled into this particular GCB about ten minutes before closing. My heart nearly broke when I saw the empty display case. The wonderful bagel proprietor saw my disappointment and asked me what I was looking for. I told her and she replied that although she had some cheddar swiss, she was out of cheddar jalapeño. 

"OH THE HUMANITY," I cried, mostly internally.

She laughed at my extreme disappointment and ran down the options she had left. One of those options were cheddar herb bagels and since The Remix doesn't mind the cheddar herb, I told her they would sub in just fine. Then, I made my way to the fridge for the cream cheese when another tragedy struck: there was no dill cream cheese. 

Now, it's probably at this point that you're wondering why this bagel bummer is in my "the time I won last friday" post, but stay with me through the trauma and you'll see soon enough. Haha!

The kind proprietor said that the cucumber cream cheese has dill in it, so although it wasn't the same, it was almost the same, which meant that it would have to do. When I got to the cash, she handed me a bag that was slightly heavier than I had anticipated.

"Just take them all," she said.

"Wow, thanks," I replied, happy to get some bonus bagels.

It wasn't until I got to the car that I saw just how many bonus bagels I was lucky enough to receive.


Final bagel count: sixteen. SIXTEEN. Now I'm no mathematician, but I'm pretty sure that's double the amount of bagels we were supposed to get. SCORE!!

So yeah. Between the sombreros, books, and bonus bagels, I pretty much felt like this... 

Haha!! Oh this gif. It's just the greatest. 

Have you had a particularly awesome day lately? What made it so great! Let's spread around some awesome-ness! YAY FOR AWESOME-NESS!





12.9.14

the nail files: give'r some rhinestones

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***

So I'm pretty much obsessed with Intelligence, Integrity & Courage, which is why I used it again this week. I swear, it's the best grey I've ever had. You should really get yourself a bottle, guys. DO IT. It's so perfect for fall. SO PERFECT. Okay, enough screaming...for now. Haha!


This mani was easy peasy with two coats of each colour, followed by a clean up around my cuticles with a thin nail art brush and a bit of acetone, and then finished off with a coat of quick-dry top coat.


A few hours later, I added the rhinestones. Some may not wait as long, but I've learned that unless the polish is TOTALLY dry, I end up denting it when I finoogle (technical nail term*) with the gems. 

*Not really 


Because I have seriously curved nail beds, it's really hard to get the gems centred when my hand is flat, and also when it's curled, which is why I have to finoogle the crap out of every gem/stud I put on, taking turns curling and straightening my fingers to make sure they don't look like they're leaning to one side. 


And since there's nothing worse than spending the time to paint your nails, only to be forced to redo them because of dents, I've finally gotten the point that waiting a long time before putting on any kind of embellishment is the way to go. For me, anyway. You, flatter nail bed guys and gals probably wouldn't have to wait as long. Not that I'm bitter or anything, of course...okay, so maybe there's a little bitterness, but it's sprinkled with love as well. Haha!

What wonderful manis have you been rocking this week? Link up and show off!


11.9.14

book review: the missing place


THE MISSING PLACE is the first book I picked up from Sophie Littlefield that isn’t part of the Stella Hardesty series. I like the Stella books because they are mysteries with a bit of humour, which is kind of what I was expecting with THE MISSING PLACE. However, now that I’ve finished it, I can unequivocally say that it is nothing like the Stella Hardesty series, but don’t worry because that isn’t even almost a bad thing.

The Missing Place

In fact, I think THE MISSING PLACE is my favourite book by Ms. Littlefield. The darker tone was done so well that I didn’t once long for a more lighthearted story. I was sucked in right away and the descriptions of North Dakota were so vivid that I almost feel like I was there. Not that I’d ever want to be in the remote area of Weir, as I would prefer to be in a five-star lodge instead of a random trailer at the end of a driveway, trying to break into oil-rigging community that would strongly prefer to be left alone by outsiders, but that’s exactly where two mothers who are as opposite as can be, wind up.

The plot has two major components. First, there’s the relationship between Shay, a rough-around-the-edges, balls-to-the-wall kind of woman and the sheltered, wealthy Colleen, but what ties them together is the search for their twenty-year-old missing sons, who both disappeared without a trace while employed to work on the rigs. Nobody seems enthused to help either of them, scared of the Oasis Energy, the company that literally created the community, and the police don’t appear to give a hoot either. So, it’s left up to two mothers to navigate the strange world that neither know much about.

It’s not a feel-good story by any means, but there’s a rawness to it that I connected to right away. The desperation both mothers feel is evident throughout and at times, it’s downright heartbreaking. That realness—the uncomfortable combination of being completely powerless yet still hopeful—drew me in from the very beginning and kept me engaged right through to the end.

So if you’re on the lookout for a darker, real, haunting mystery that leaves you thinking, then THE MISSING PLACE is for you! It’s scheduled for release on October 14th, so mark it on your Goodreads page and/or pre-order on Amazon!

I'm linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday, so if you have a book review, head on over and share your post!


I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


5.9.14

the nail files: glammed up giver

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***

Woot woot! The week is (almost) over!! Man, why do shorter weeks always feel longer? It's unfair, I tell you. UNFAIR.

But freakishly-long-feeling weeks aside, it's Friday, which means that it's nail files day!! And there's nothing like a fun mani to make things awesome, right?

Note: That question was obviously rhetorical. 

I bought some new nail polish this week (inspired by Kimberly, who recently went on a buying binge--uh, thanks? Haha!) and two of the four colours I picked up were Intelligence, Integrity & Courage from China Glaze's Giver Collection, and Do you Have This Color In Stock-holm? from OPI's Nordic Collection. And holy moly, guys. HOLY MOLY. They're both awesome.


In particular, I think that Intelligence, Integrity & Courage is the best grey I've ever found. The first coat was a streaky nightmare, but the second totally evened it out. As for Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm?, it reminds me a lot of Julep's Eden, which is perfectly fine because I loved Eden. The bummer is that it goes on the same as Eden too, meaning that you need three coats to have no streaks. However, it's a freaking gorgeous purple so I  can forgive its shortcomings. Haha!


Okay, so how this mani went down was two coats of Intelligence, Integrity & Courage and Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm?. When that was dry, I added one coat of Can't Be Tamed to my pointer finger, and sealed all fingers with top coat. Later in the afternoon, I added the studs and gems, and then did another coat of top coat. 


I was late to the game with the Giver Collection and I didn't get to see many of the colours in person but with how much I love this grey, I think I'll head on over to Nail Polish Canada to get the soft pink. Has anyone seen that one? Is it really the perfect shade of pale pink? My fear is that it'll take three coats and I need to mentally prepare myself if that's the case. Haha!

And what are you rocking this week? Link up and show off!


29.8.14

the nail files: flower power

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***
YAY! It's nail files day, which means that it's also Friday! 

Who else needs a cocktail after this week? 

Haha! I will always heart New York.


Anyway, this week, I was inspired by this pic.



Here's what I used:

And the mani!

Confession time: I did the flower on my middle finger first and it was too big to have opposing flowers. Whoops! I think it turned out well though.

I used two coats of Paper Mache as a base, on all fingers. For my ring finger, I followed it up with one coat of Gilded Chrome. And yes, I really do mean one coat. That glitter covers, y'all (shout out to Heather, who's gotten me saying this in real life despite being Canadian--haha!). 

The flowers were a bit trickier, because I wanted to have a bit of a fade. With a small, tapered nail art brush, I did the lighter colour first (At Vase Value  and Tart-y For The Party), starting at the corner of my nail and then going towards the other side. When all four petals were done, I went over the outer petals with the darker colour (Turned Up Turquoise and Queen B). For a little bit of sparkle, because sparkles make everything better, I used a thin liner nail art brush and Gilded Chrome. Then, I VERY CAREFULLY used Black Stripe Rite to do the border. Warning, if you're at all hungover, this isn't the mani for you to do cause you'll be too shaky. Haha! An orange jewel finished it all off and added a little more sparkle because I simply can't help myself. 


I freaking love the pants off this mani, guys and gals. The colours are so pretty and the white background makes it really pop. Plus, having Gilded Chrome all over my ring finger is pretty much the funnest ever. 

What are you rocking this week? Link up and show off. And have an awesome weekend!


22.8.14

the nail files: sugar & spice

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***
It's been a crazy week in the Happypants Household, but I was still able to do my nails. Shocker, I know. Haha!





I started with two coats of Wild Wisteria on my thumb, pointer, and pinky finger, while my middle and ring finger got two coats of Oxygen. To finish off my thumb, pointer, and pinky finger, I added a big circular piece holo glitter from I Snow You Love Me. 

My middle and ring finger required a bit more effort to create the glitter fade. On the top third of each nail, I did one coat of Sparkle and Snowflake. With the silver Rite Stripe, I dabbed on silver glitter along the bottom of Skarkle and Snowflake and down a little, so it didn't look like a solid glitter line. I added two rows of overlapping big circular holo glitters from I Snow You Love Me and then used the smaller hex holo glitters from Techno to fade towards the bottom of each nail. 


I think it's a perfect mix of sassy and sweet, hence the name of this post. The light pink and holo glitter is so princessy that I think it'd be too much with every finger. Not that I'm every scared of "too much," of course. Haha! But having the super dark purple as a contrast makes it work even better, I think. And man, when the sun hits the holo glitter, BLAMMO! Haha!

What are you rocking this week? Link up and show off!


15.8.14

the nail files: shark attack!

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***

This week, I was challenged by the awesome Daniela, to do this:



I'm not super into Shark Week, but I am into themes, so I decided to give it a go. And it turned out pretty well, I think! Yay!





And here's Chompers! (Hahaha, of course I named him.)


For the Seascape:

I started with one coat of I Sea the Point on my pointer, ring, and pinky finger, while my thumb got two coats. Using a triangular makeup sponge, I painted a stripe of Paper Mache with a stripe of I Sea the Point below, and then sponged it (happy, Bailey? Haha!) onto my pointer, ring, and pinky finger. It still wasn't quite opaque though, so I did two coats of the sponge. Then I did a coat of quick-dry top coat, to seal it.

With a narrow nail art brush, I painted random squiggles for waves with Margritte's Masterpiece and Wait N' Sea. The birds were done with the black Stripe Rite, and the shark fin used avenue maintain, with some highlighting from OPI's I Want to be A-Lone Star (not pictured).  

For the Shark:

No base colour, only clear base coat. With the brush from avenue maintain, I made a rounded triangle for the shark head. Then, I used Dance Baby for the inside of the mouth, and went over the outline with white Stripe Site, making small triangles and then filling them in, for the teeth. Two black dots for eyes finished it all off. 


This mani was a lot of fun to do, so thanks for the challenge, Daniela! And what do you think, did I nail it? Haha!

What are you rocking this week? Link up and show off!