19.12.14

the nail files: black and silver snowflakes


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***
Oh em gee, guys! This is the last nail files before Christmas!! YAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS!


Our final pre-actual-Christmas holiday party was with The Remix's company, in a fancy hotel, so I figured I do some simple, classy nails for the event.

Psych!

Haha! Remember psych? Psych was the best. 

Anyway, the outfit I wore consisted of a black sheath dress, silver sequin shrug, and a long, VERY sparkly necklace. I decided that I wanted my nails to have the same kind of vibe, so I went with a pretty monochromatic colour scheme of black and silver.

So I realized I'm actually missing a ton  few things in this picture (*headdesk*). Please use your imagination to also picture a medium dotting tool, silver sparkle Stripe Rite, black rhinestones, and some matte top coat. Ugh. Why is my brain so fried?! Haha!


Each finger got two coats of Cleopatra or Rebel, which I let dry completely. For my pointer finger, I added two coats of Kirby, and on my pinky, one coat of Kirby, almost hallway up the nail. 

Using tweezers, I picked out a larger rhinestone, dipped it in some quick-dry top coat, and then put it on my middle finger. I used the same technique for the smaller rhinestone.

For my thumb, I used a thin nail art brush and Rebel to draw on the snowflake, and a medium dotting tool for the dots. For some extra pizazz, I went over the snowflake with silver sparkle Stripe Rite.

For my ring finger, I used the same thin nail art brush and Cleopatra for the two smaller snowflakes, as well as the dots. Then I added two small black rhinestones to the middle of each snowflake, because more bling is always better. Haha!


Cleopatra has a really cool finish that got super shiny with top coat, which made me wonder what it would like with matte top coat, so I added it to the non-glitter portion of my pinky. If you look closely, my middle finger is the shiniest, with top coat, my thumb has no top coat and is a cool velvet-y kind of finish, and the pinky is matte. Talk about three separate looks! Nicely done on that one, Julep!

So yeah, I think this mani is super freaking cool. It borders on being too much but the monochromatic colour scheme reigns it in a bit. Okay, maybe it's still a bit too much but I don't really care. Haha! And unlike the silver studs from last week's mani, these gems lasted six whole days.

*looks at fingers on keyboard*

In fact, all eight of them (four per hand) are still very firmly placed. I don't know why they lasted so much longer, but it's made me want to use them more often, so look out, manis of 2015, because it's going to all rhinestones, all the time! Haha!

Hope you all have a very happy holiday!!!

12.12.14

the nail files: snowy silver balls


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***

Last weekend, we had a Christmas party to attend. Naturally, I was psyched to sport my holiday rose nails, but the morning of the party, I got a big ole chip on my thumb. Because, obviously.


Once I recovered from my rage, I realized that I had to whip up something quick and easy because I simply don't do chipped and/or naked nails. Like, ever.


Enter, the negative space mani. You know, because you don't have to put polish on your whole nail, which means the dry time is pretty fast. Yay for convenient trends! Haha!



I started with my standard coat of OPI Nail Envy (Matte) and once it was dry, I cut the make-up sponge in half, lengthwise. Then, I painted on a narrow stripe of Paper Mache onto the tip of the sponge and dabbed it onto the top third of each nail. After two coats, which dried super quickly (yay!), I used the same technique with The Outer Edge. On the final coat, I went a little lower, to make the tips uneven so they'd look like falling snow. 


The final step was all about the balls. I've had these guys for a while but haven't used them because they stick up way more than circular studs. But, they remind me of my Grandma's Rice Krispie squares, which she only makes around the holidays and tops with edible silver balls, so they were totally appropriate for this holiday mani. Of course, the downside is looking at them made me hungry but it was worth the sacrifice. Haha!

Placing them was the hardest part, because they're kind of big and need somewhere flat to lie. Having curved nail beds presented QUITE the challenge but I managed to get them as flat as possible, while also as centred as possible, before the quick dry top coat dried (which made me feel all boss-like and such, haha!).


As expected, the wear on the balls was pretty awful, which is probably because they stick up so far. I added two coats of top coat but by the next morning, most of the balls had dulled at their peaks. It was still a fun look, though, and considering the small time investment, I'm happy with the result.

If you're digging this mani but don't have any balls lying around (haha) then you could just substitute a dot of a silver polish for the same look. That would also mean you'd likely get a few days out of the mani too, which is always a good thing because I get that not everyone wants to paint their nails on a bi-daily basis. Haha!

What were you rocking this week? Link up and show 'em off!

5.12.14

the nail files: holiday rose tutorial


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***
Every once in a while, there's a mani that makes me think: How in the heck did I manage to do that?
This week's mani is one of those. Even choosing which photos to share was agony because I can't handle the prettiness! Haha!

It started when I was trying to think up a non-traditional holiday manicure while also wanting to use some of the new polishes I've gotten lately. Purple, white, black, and gold may not seem holiday-ish, at first, but I think that it works. Then again, I'm biased. ;)





This gold polish, guys. THIS GOLD POLISH. It has such a soft finish, making the name Rollin' In Cashmere even more appropriate. Be warned, though, that this polish streaks like a motha. After several failed attempts at even coverage with two coats, I learned that the brush needs a good amount of polish on it at all times. No 'finishing' strokes with this one, folks! It'll just create a big polish-less line on your nail. So load up that brush!

Because I love this mani so much, I decided to do a photo tutorial (mostly so I could remember how I did it. Haha!).


Step 1: Two coats of Paper Mache, totally dry.

Step 2: Add three big ole dots of Millie. (Don't freak if your dots aren't perfectly circular, because the edges will get covered up later.)

Step 3: With a thin nail art brush, make a u-shaped line in the centre with Tart-y For The Party, and then add a few more curved lines for petals.

Step 4: With Black Stripe Rite, add the stems and leaf outlines.

Step 5: With the same thin nail art brush as in Step 3, fill in the leaves with Rollin' in Cashmere, followed by De-Light.

One coat of top coat seals it all in.

Yay for fun, sparkly, untraditional holiday manicures! Haha!

And, for a small, non-nail-related plug, thanks to your votes in the semi-final rounds, I've somehow made it into the FINALS for Karen's World Blog Awards, for the Pee-In-Your-Pants Funny Blog!! With a name like that, how can I NOT want to win, right? So if you could, I'd really appreciate your vote (possibly for a second time)! Click here for a post that lists what I think are my most recent, funniest posts. If you agree that I'm hilarious (haha) then I'd LOVE if you'd vote for me!

Okay, so I'll love you even if you don't vote, but still, please do it. Haha!

And don't forget to link up your manis for this week! I'm excited for a month's worth of holiday manis! YAY FOR HOLIDAY MANIS!

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!



28.11.14

the nail files: diamonds are a girl's best friend


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***


I splurged on a Julep Diamond Mystery Box last month, specifically because I wanted to get my paws on the new diamond topper polishes, and boy oh boy, am I ever glad I did. Because not only did I get the two diamond toppers, but four other polishes, three beauty products, and two eyeshadow brushes!!

Amazingdealsayswhat?

Not able to decide between which one to try first, because how can one honestly choose between silver and gold, I used them both. Haha! I'm so greedy. ;)




For the base coats, I did two coats of Paper Mache, Rebel, and Felicity. When that was dry, I did one coat of Chantel and Sky. Having previous experience with finicky larger glitter pieces, I knew the diamonds wouldn't go on evenly, but there are little bits of glitter too, so the goal of the first coat was to make sure the smaller glitter got good coverage. I let the first coat dry for a while, and then picked out individual diamonds from the polish brush (with a nail art brush) and filled in the gaps. Two coats of quick-dry top coat covered the diamonds' edges, giving each nail a smooth finish. 


As you can see with this outdoor picture, when the sun hits the diamonds, it's like BLAMMO AWESOMEST SHINE OF LIFE. Haha! And although I love the gold glitter in Chantal, but I'm positively bananas about the holo glitter in Sky. Such a good idea instead of just plain silver!  

I don't know if you can still get the diamond top coats, but if you can, you should totally splurge. The diamond shapes are so fun, and they're just big enough to make a serious impact, while also being small enough to layer. Well done, Julep! This is one of your best!

What are you rocking this week? Hope you have an awesome weekend! And if you're in the States, Happy Thanksgiving (err, yesterday, haha)! 


27.11.14

I'm a semi-finalist for "Favorite Pee-In-Your-Pants Funny Blog"!!!

A couple of days ago, I got a tweet from Karen, stating that I was a 2014 Karen's World Blog Awards Semi-Finalist for "Favorite Pee-In-Your-Pants Funny Blog."


After I recovered from the insane amount of glee that comes from such a compliment, I figured I'd collect some of my favourite funny posts, so those who are perusing blogs before voting can get an idea of just how funny I am. Haha!

Side Note: There's a small chance my head's slightly larger than it was, pre-semi-finals-announcement. Good thing I don't need to wear a helmet. Haha!

So, without further ado, here are the posts!







*hands tissue so you can wipe your tears of laughter away*

(too presumptuous? Hahaha!)

So if you got a few chuckles out of these posts (and/or other posts you've read) I'd love if you could pop on over to Karen's blog before November 30th, and vote. There are quite a few categories, and in order to vote for me, you'll also have to vote for a blog in every other category. I'm aware that this is asking a lot, but PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE do it! I would positively adore confirmation that it's best to wear a pair of Depends before checking out my blog. Haha!

Thanks so much to whoever nominated me! And to all of you for voting!

I’m glad you guys liked the Mean Girls GIFs!


26.11.14

when nature attacks: how not to trap a mink

A few months ago (I’m waaaaay behind on blogging) we discovered that we had a mink living in our pond. After I wrote a post about it, I was informed that our mink may actually be a muskrat (thanks T-wrap and C-bread, my awesome Subway gals). Upon further inspection of the random sinkholes around the pond, we concluded that we did, in fact, have a muskrat. Mostly because mink don’t tunnel. That’s not to say that we didn't also have a mink, because the Remix spotted it trying to attack our bird feeder (why does bird seed attract all wildlife?) but in terms of what was living in the pond, it was a muskrat.

Armed with the knowledge that we had TWO rodent-esque squatters, we upped the ante and bought a bonus-sized container of sardines for the trap, and until we caught the mink, agreed that one of us would supervise the dogs during dusk and dawn. You know, because minks are dicks and attack smaller animals at dusk and dawn, including dogs with fairly bad survival skills (let’s not talk about the time that Pepi tried to lick a porcupine).

One morning, I was outside with the dogs, and popped inside for a second to boil water for more tea. We still hadn’t caught anything, but we hadn’t seen the muskrat or mink in a while, so I thought it would be okay. By the time I filled the kettle and walked back to the door, Pepi was waiting to come inside.

Pickle, however, was nowhere to be seen.

I called him a couple of times but there wasn’t so much as a rustle. Increasing my intensity, I called him again, walking around the deck. Still nothing. Beginning to panic, I got his favourite toy—a stuffed cheeseburger—and squeaked it, as Pickle ALWAYS comes running when he thinks you want to play.


But there was still nothing.

Now, in a full-blown meltdown, I proceeded to run around the property, barefoot because I couldn’t find any shoes, using my iPhone as a flashlight because it was still really early in the morning (yes, I’m up before dawn every day).

It was then that I heard a rattling. Not much, but enough to draw my attention to the left side of the pond, underneath the windmill. I sprinted over with my heart in my throat, terrified about what I’d find.

Then, I nearly wet my pants…

Please note the entirely appropriate, shamed look. 

I mean, seriously?

After taking a few pics (and possibly a little teasing) I let him out, but for the rest of the day, he stared at the can through the metal bars, whimpering oh-so-slightly and occasionally shaking with anticipation. Who knew sardines were so appealing?


At some point in the afternoon, I glanced outside and was surprised to not see Pickle staring at the trap. I figured that he’d finally given up on his Sardine Dreams, but then I noticed him rolling around on the ground, a few feet to the right.

If you have dogs, you know that rolling on something is code for: YAY! SOMETHING DEAD I CAN SMELL LIKE.

So, naturally, I ran outside to stop him. When I got there, the smell was pungent.

Why?

Because somehow, some way, Pickle had gotten the sardine can out of the trap, eaten the ENTIRE THING, and then rolled around in the juices because he couldn’t get enough. As you can imagine, he was pretty much the grossest smelling dog of life. But even two baths later, it was still funny. I mean, he got caught in a mink trap, learned from his mistakes, and then performed a miraculous Sardine Snatch without getting trapped. For a walnut-sized brain, it’s really quite impressive. When the Remix came home, I told him all about it and we had a great old laugh.

That is, until Pickle proceeded to have explosive bum problems for the next five days. I won’t go into any further detail (you’re welcome) but let’s just say that he’s lucky he still lives with us after The Week of Grossness and Rubber Gloves.

Judge Judy Finally Hears Case Involving Grindr (x)

In the meantime, we figured Pickle had ruined the first trap’s location, so we moved it to the other side of the pond. And, wouldn’t you know, a few days later, I was psyched to come outside, near dusk, to see something furry in the trap.

However, upon further inspection, I discovered that it was neither a mink nor a muskrat.

It was Pickle.

Again.

Fridays at 4PM 

Lesson Learned: When attempting to trap a rodent-esque creature, make sure you don’t have a Yorkie.


21.11.14

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!


14.11.14

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!


*swoons*

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. ;)