the nail files: quatrefoil tutorial

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Hey guys and gals! It's Friday! YAY!!

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This week, I wanted to try a pattern that I've had my eye on for a while: the super cute and very intimidating, quatrefoil.

*cue the duhn, duhn, duhhhhhhhhhn*


These are the polishes I used:

And the mani!

As this pattern looks hella hard, I watched a few YouTube videos that had different techniques and ended up kind of combining them. Here's a pictorial of what I did (I won't lie; it took a while, mostly because I wanted to be REALLY careful with the dot placement):

For the rest of my nails, I did two coats of Mirrorball, My Way Or The Highway, and Cake Pop. Then I added a single quatrefoil on my thumb, reversing the colours. 

 I freaking love Mirrorball. It's mentalface sparkly in outdoor light. 

As I suspected, this pattern was pretty time consuming, but it was sooooooo worth it because of the gorgeous factor. I mean, come on. It's incredible! For a special occasion, I'd totally use this pattern again. With the layering of colours, the possibilities are endless!

Switching gears for a second, last week was our first themed week of May Flowers, and I think it went pretty well! Would you guys want to keep doing theme weeks? Let me know and I'll put together some new ideas (read: troll Pinterest, haha!).

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!


the nail files: may flowers

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Woot woot! It's our first theme week!

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Last week, after announcing the May Flowers theme, I just happened to be on IG and saw this fabulous card by Hollybeary Creations. 

Naturally, the timing couldn't have been more perfect, so I got to work picking out some teals.

And here's what I did!

The nice thing about roses are that they're pretty easy to do, even if you don't have proper nail art tools. After two coats of Paper Mache had dried, I dabbed on a few dots of Too Yacht To Handle, quickly followed by My Way Or The Highway, swirling the colours together. When that dried, I used black Rite Stripe to fill in the centres, and randomly added curved lines for petals, along with a couple of leaves (that didn't quite turn out as I'd envisioned, but were good enough. Haha!). 

To finish, I added some light green gems, because I did't have any teal ones, fished out some glitter pieces from China Glaze's Make A Spectacle, along with a few dots of the pearl-y Sea Temptress, by FingerPaints (both of which I forgot to take a picture of--whoops!). A coat of quick-dry top coat sealed everything together.

Aside from my jacked up leaves, I love this mani. It's fun and fresh and there's just enough sparkle. Thanks for the inspiration, Holly! :D

What are you rocking this week? Were you inspired by the May Flowers theme? Link up and show off!

Hope you have an awesome weekend!


blogger problems (it's a link up!)

I'm joining in on a fun little link up today, hosted by Bailie, The Hemborg Wife, and Dee at A Deecoded Life, called Blogger Problems. 

A Deecoded Life

Similar to First World Problems...

and Toddler Problems...


Blogger Problems are problems that other bloggers can sympathize with (as they wouldn't necessarily seem like actual problems to others). And while I don't have a lot of Blogger Problems to share, a few did come to mind.

1. For nail posts, I have to take about five kajillion pictures before I can get a usable one. Flash spots wash out nail art designs, getting a close-up with each finger in focus is nearly impossible, bad lighting can distort colours, and if I don't take pictures at between 11am and noon, my skin can look kind of orange. The worst, though, is when I think I've finally nailed it (ha) only to go into my editing program and see spots of nail polish on my skin and cuticles that didn't get cleaned off.

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2. I read a lot, because reading is the freaking best, but over the last few years, I've decided to only review books that I L-O-V-E, in order to keep things positive. Naturally, this means that there are times where I'll go for long spells without posting reviews, because just liking a book isn't enough for me--I want to shout my love from the rooftops! So when an author gives me a copy of their book, hoping for a fantastic review, I hate when I have to send them a note, saying that I won't be reviewing their work. It breaks my heart every single time because the truth is, I want to love it, but sometimes it just doesn't resonate and then I have to eat copious amounts of cheeseburgers to feel better while simultaneously fearing an angry response to my pass.

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3. When I first started blogging, I had zero readership and it gave me the opportunity to have a diary-like blog. If I was upset about something, I could write a post and let out my feelings. Now, though, my readership is pretty solid (yay! And thank you!) but a lot of my real-life friends and family read too, so I'm constantly worried about hurting people's feelings. I wish I didn't care so much--that I could be one of those bloggers who puts everything out there--but even with quotes like this one, from the über talented Anne Lamott...

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better. ~ Anne Lamont #quote #writing

I still find myself thinking long and hard about posting certain thoughts. Because although I'm completely entitled to my opinion, the internet is forever (as are certain relationships) so I almost always end up keeping those thoughts to myself. Even when it's really (really, really, really, really, really) hard.

So those are my Blogger Problems, what are yours? Link up with Bailie and Dee to share! :D


the nail files: julep jewels

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My Julep Maven box came on Tuesday of this week, and I was so freaking excited about their latest purple Denise, that I could hardly get the box open fast enough. But, can you blame me?


*sighs happily*

I immediately knew I wanted to do something sparkly with these two babies (shocker, I know, haha!), so I grabbed my rhinestones and got to work.

I did two coats of Denise, and three (#sadface) coats of Vanna, to start, and then added dots of Denise onto my feature finger, followed by the jewels. So simple yet SO SPARKLY! Yay for sparkles! Haha!

(Also, I'm loving the title of this post because Julep has a program called "Jules," where you can earn freebies. When I realized I could make a play on words with my jewel-encrusted mani, I couldn't help myself. Haha!)

So Denise is just as freaking fantastic as I'd hoped she'd be but Vanna, on the other hand (ha) was kind of a nightmare to work with. The formula was sheer, but thick, and it took three coats to get almost-full coverage (grrr). The vanilla colour is nice, but I'm sorry to say that Vanna probably won't be coming out to play again (although I will say that I appreciate Vanna being a vanilla colour, haha!)

But, all in all, I'm happy with how this mani came out. Denise is definitely a polish that I'll be obsessed with for the next little while, because it's such a fun, rich and vibrant purple. You've been warned. Haha!

Before I sign off for this week, last week, I threw out the question on whether or not people would like to do a theme week, and the verdict was a YES. Yay! There were some great suggestions, so how about we go with a pretty inclusive theme of May Flowers? You could draw inspiration from a beautiful bouquet, fresh buds that are finally blooming outside, or maybe even rock some nail art! Does that sound good? I hope so! Mostly because I love theme manis. Haha! So next week, if you want, link up a May Flowers Mani! :D

Happy Mother's Day, this weekend, to all of the mommas out there! And don't forget to link up your manis from this week!


why won't squirrels stop ruining my life?

One of the best things about living in the country is nature.

*remembers all previous posts about bad times with nature*

Err...let me rephrase my opening sentence: One of the best things about living in the country is the sound of birds.

In the morning, it sounds more like an arboretum than the great outdoors. The previous owners of our house had bird feeders all over the place, and it's been awesome to see so many different types of feathered friends.

For instance, we've got Cardinals!

Blue Jays!

Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks!


Mourning Doves!


Red-Winged Blackbirds!

White-crowned Sparrows!

 Heck, we've even got ducks!

 Sorry about the reflection. I took this shot from inside. 

And they all hang out on our property, singing their beautiful songs and looking pretty. 

Naturally, the only way to keep the birds around, is to keep feeding them. We've downgraded to only two feeders, though, because seed can get pricey. So now, we only use the chair feeder and three-tube feeder you saw in the pictures, and we sprinkle seed on the grass by the pond, for the ducks. 

But even with our downgrades, we buy a whole lotta birdseed. And through that, we've learned that it's important to keep the birdseed outside, because it can attract rodents and bugs. However, finding an outdoor storage option that can keep animals out is a challenge, so when we heard about these amazing new garbage cans specifically designed for thwarting animal attacks, we splurged on two of them.

At first, they worked great! The cans got tipped over a few times, but the seed was always safely inside, thusly saving us from having to replace it every five seconds. 

After about a month, we were convinced our seed-stealer days were over, but then I started to notice squirrels around the cans. One day soon after that, I went outside and saw that they'd eaten through the top of the lid.

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Luckily, I'd caught them early in their peanut-raiding adventure and they didn't get much. So, to discourage further raids, we stuffed the holes with steel wool, and then secured the top with thick layers of duct tape.

A few more days passed and then I heard a scurry by the door...

What a ballsy little buggar, eh? He juuuuuuuust can't help himself. I chased him away and assessed the damage. After I took a picture, of course. Haha!

He'd gotten right through the tape and hollowed out some of the steel wool, so I brought the lid back inside, stuffed the hole with more steel wool, removed the old tape, and then secured the top with fresh layers of duct tape. For the two days after the re-wooling/taping, it seemed like we were winning, but then we came home to this (and a whole lot of empty peanut shells, grrrrr).

So if you've got any tips on how I can stop squirrels from ruining my life, or different, more effective animal stopper garbage cans, I'd love to hear them! As of now, I'm fresh out of ideas. I'm all for squirrels joining in on the morning feast of seeds and nuts I put out, but I'm not having the thievery. It's just rude, you know? And expensive.

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the nail files: fun little flamingo

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One of my new favourite IG accounts to stalk is I Scream Nails. They're a nail bar in Australia, and pretty much the coolest place ever. Their designs are bright, cartoon-y, and super mega fun, which is why I'm sure you're not surprised with my obsession. Haha!

Last week, I saw the cutest little flamingo, and since I literally live on the other side of the globe and therefore can't make an appointment, I decided to give it a try, myself. 

So cute, right? I mean, it's pretty much ALL the cute.

Ugh. How I wish I lived in Australia...

Anyway, instead of blatantly ripping off the whole mani (haha) I added my own twist...

Haha! Those legs! I love how it all came together. 

To ease into the design, I started with the clouds (which were also from the I Scream Nails account, but on a different mani), after two coats of UV Meant To Be that had dried completely. Surprisingly,  they were pretty easy to do. I used two differently-sized dotting tools to make one larger and one smaller cloud per nail. 

For the flamingo, I used a thin, narrow nail art brush and Escaping Reality to outline the flamingo. First, I drew a semi-circle for the body, and then curved upwards in a "S" shape, for the neck and head. Using that as a guide, I thickened his face/neck, and filled in the other colours. For the beak, I used Black Rite Stripe.

For the bottom of the flamingo, I did a similar outlining technique, starting with the body, and then adding the legs. When I'd finished, I thought the bottom nail looked a bit empty, so I added the grass. 

I seriously cannot even handle how cute he turned out. I've longed for an I Scream Nails flamingo and although I had to do it myself, I'm so happy I did. And the clouds are freaking adorable. I've gotten more compliments on this mani than I know what to do with.

I couldn't resist this last shot--nail art clouds with real ones! Haha!

What were you rocking this week? And here's a question, Kimberlee suggested that maybe we should have a themed nail files week! Would you be interested in that? Sometimes it's hard to get inspired, so having a prompt could help. Leave a comment with suggestions on what you'd like to see, and heck, if there's a bunch of ideas, we'll do a few! Let me know if you're game!

In the meantime, don't forget to link up and have an awesome weekend!


book review (with tribute mani!): the wicked will rise

THE WICKED WILL RISE is the second installment in the Dorothy Must Die series, so I’m going to tread lightly. But I can say, with no hesitation, that if you haven’t read the first, DOROTHY MUST DIE, then you’re missing out. Why? Because it’s freaking awesome. And THE WICKED WILL RISE absolutely delivered as a sequel, so you should probably get on it. Like now-ish. 

And, as you can see, because I loved the story and the cover so much, I had to do a tribute mani. 

What I loved most about the cover was the use of matte and shine. The dress and hat were glossy, along with the lettering, but the background was matte. So freaking cool! I tried to recreate that with my mani. The only part with glossy top coat is the hat.

So here’s the non-spoilery deal with this series: Amy, the second Kansan to arrive into Oz (after Dorothy herself) has to kill Dorothy because she’s turned evil and pretty much ruined the magical kingdom. For the second installment, THE WICKED WILL RISE, the battle continues, and Amy has to collect the Tin Woodman’s heart, the Scarecrow’s brain, and the Lion’s courage, while avoiding being murdered by a whole plethora of enemies. 

To answer your next question: yes. This series is bloody. But I like bloody (sort of—when it’s done right, which it is here). It’s certainly not gratuitous, though, and considering how evil all the original good guys and gals are, it could have been way worse. But this is YA, so it’s appropriately dark.

THE WICKED WILL RISE’s pace wasn’t as quick as the first, so I'll admit I was slightly disappointed, but the appearance of a new character balanced it out. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but rest assured, she's fabulous. And not just because of her super fun accessories. She's got some bite to her too. Literally. Haha!

I would have liked a little more character growth from Amy, as there were a couple of scenes that made me think: “not this again,” but since she’s a teen, it fits. And all-in-all, it’s still a fun read, as strange as that sounds, given the subject matter. Ha! There’s no doubt I’ll read the next, and the one after that (if there is one). Because Danielle Paige can certainly flip a flip a story on its head, and I can’t wait to see where her imagination takes me next.

So if you like dark retellings, then the Dorothy Must Die series is for you!


the time I was almost murdered (kind of)

I watch a lot of crime-based shows: Law and Order SVU, Criminal Minds, Secrets and Lies, and because of that, I have an overactive imagination when it comes to certain situations. For instance, hitchhiking. I really don't understand hitchhiking. Even back in the day, when it was "safer," the fact remains that it's a dangerous activity. Both for the hitchhiker and the hitchhikee. I mean, it's basically a recipe for bad times, picking up a stranger on the side of the road.

So when two teenaged girls knocked on my door, at just after ten in the morning on Tuesday of last week, attempting to hitchhike, I was surprised. I live in the country, about a five minute drive from the nearest town (which is super small), so I don't see many people walking, let alone have them knocking on my door. Well, except for one determined Jehovah's Witness, but he's pretty chill about his Invitations to Salvation, so I let him slide. 

But back to the unsettling teenaged girls who randomly showed up at my house. When I opened the door, amidst the loud barking of our two tiny dogs, the girl closest to me said: "We missed the bus. Can you drive us to school?"

No introductions, no smiles, nothing. Simply: "We missed the bus. Can you drive us to school?"

These are not the two girls, but I find their likeness to be striking. Only instead of holding beers, they held sour expressions.

It seemed super sketchy, so I asked them where they lived, and they named my street (which is clearly posted on multiple signs), but they didn't give me a number or any kind of landmark. Then I asked them when school started, because it was after ten. They responded with a vague "Before nine," which would mean that they missed the bus at least one hour and ten minutes earlier. 

Now, obviously, this story didn't make sense, but despite that, my first instinct was to drive them. For some reason, I was more worried about their safety, as in, them asking the wrong person for a drive, so I called The Remix, to tell him what was going on. After I explained the situation, he responded with "Are you seriously going to give two random strangers a ride?," which he followed up with a long, silent pause. This was just the kind of response I needed, mostly because it made me realize I was acting insane. I would never pick up a hitchhiker, let alone two, so why was it different with them coming to my door? The answer was: it wasn't. In fact, it was even more random, because who goes door-to-door asking for rides from strangers?

Psycho killers, that's who.

So, with the decision made that I would NOT be driving them, I went back to my door. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to keep them outside.

Through the crack in the door, I told them that I wouldn't be driving them, and that's when they started to get angry-slash-whiney. They claimed it would take them "over an hour and a half" to walk to school, and they pointed out that it was raining. Now, I have no clue where the high school is, but at the very most, it'd take half an hour to walk to walk to town. And furthermore, considering that these two girls essentially fell out of the sky and onto my property, I decided to file the whole thing under: Not My Problem and I Prefer To Stay Alive.

Immediately after I shut and locked the door, I got back on the phone with The Remix, and watched them walk to the end of my driveway. Funnily enough, only one of them had a bag and they turned right, which was the opposite direction to town. So, um, yeah. They totally weren't trying to get to school.

Now, if they'd been smiling, embarrassed girls who introduced themselves with something like: "Hi. Sorry to just show up, but we live down at 75794--you know, the one with the windmill and the horse ring with yellow fencing? We were late getting to the bus stop, and missed the bus. We called our Mom, but she's already at work. You can call and talk to her yourself, if you want, because we were wondering if you'd mind driving us. We'd really appreciate it because we have a major test today." Then maybe I'd have given them some benefit of the doubt, but a cranky-whiny mix of vague information and a confrontational attitude does not a stranger ride, make. Also, they would have needed to be at my door at around nine, to confirm their story. In addition to that, the word "please" would gone a long way. I mean, that's basic politeness, isn't it? And furthermore, did they really have nobody they could call? Like, I don't know, someone who's not a stranger? It's not like every kid on the planet doesn't have a cell. 

Anyway, after they left, I started to feel guilty. What if they really were kids just trying to get to school, albeit a school in another town because they turned right instead of left? So, just to get a sense of the general consensus on the matter, I went to Twitter.

From the reaction I got, everyone was in agreement with my refusal, which made me feel less like a meanie-pants and more like a responsible woman. I think it's a little sad that we've learned to be hesitant on helping strangers, but at the end of the day, I'm happy to have avoided becoming this headline:


Because yeah, I'm pretty sure that I was almost murdered, last Tuesday. Kind of, anyway. 

Lesson Learned? 

Keep the gate at the end of the driveway closed. Also? When in doubt, call The Remix. He always knows what to do.