30.4.12

To The Winner Goes The Spoils (and that's ME!)



I went to my mailbox this morning (after a few days of not checking...whoops) and LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!




Wheeeeeee!!


EEeeEeEE!! That's MY name! I'm Jennie!!



 Look! There is is again!! *squeals*



So, THANK YOU again to all of you who voted for me. I'm VERY EXCITED to have my very first set of signed books! Especially Making Waves, which is pretty much one of the best books ever. Fact. (I still have to read Believe It or Not. Don't worry, I'm on it). 


And thanks to Tawna for hosting such an awesome contest! (Plus, she gets about a bazillion bonus points for spelling my name correctly. For reals. People misspell it all the time. Or they call me Jennifer, which isn't my name, but I digress...). I also love the little pink stickers that say, "autographed copy." It makes things even more legit. 


EVEN MORE LEGIT!


So, now I just need a glass display case or something. With lasers and a crocodile-filled moat. Haha!!


Best Monday EVER!!




27.4.12

The Nail Files: How Could You Be Blue With Nails Like These?


The Nail Files


This week, I kicked it into high gear. 


China Glaze's For Audrey & Optical Illusion, OPI's Swimsuit...Nailed It, China Glaze's Dorothy Who? and OPI's Gone Gonzo.



Two coats of For Audrey and Swimsuit...Nailed It. Then one coat of Optical Illusion over For Audrey and one coat of Dorothy Who? over Swimsuit...Nailed It. After careful consideration, my feature nail wasn't quite sparkly enough (ha), so I added one coat of Gone Gonzo


Yes, it did take forever to take off but it was totally worth it. In the sunshine, I had to wear sunglasses or risk being blinded by the blue-bling. Again, it was totally worth it.


Thanks to Tara and Vicki for hosting!!




25.4.12

My Ridiculously Talented Baby Brother



This is my baby brother.




And this is the teaser for his new snowboard movie The Powder Highway (he's the Director of Photography).




I'm so proud that it almost hurts.



24.4.12

Bangor or Bust


Last Sunday, our annoying furry babies decided it'd be a good idea to start barking at random nothing-ness at 6am. Begrudgingly, we got up and started our day. By 9am, we were bored and hungry, which is when I said: "Hey, do you wanna go to Bangor?"


20 minutes later, we were in the car.



I really love living in New Brunswick. This is what we get to look at when we're on the highway. Just lovely. Especially in the summer.  


I wish that I'd had the guts to take a picture of the border crossing because - no joke - we were the only ones there. We even had to wait for a customs agent to come outside! We were all, "Err...is America closed?"


Hilarious!!


Moving on...



This is usually where we get off of the highway to go shopping (it's the first exit after the border) but not this time! BANGOR OR BUST! 



Mere minutes before we crossed the border, The Remix noticed something. Can you spot the problem?

I'll give you a second to really look...

There's no miles on Lulu's speedometer! Apparently, if you're in Quebec (where Lulu's from) then you're exempt from having to put miles on speedometers. With International browsing charges looming, I googled a few conversions and wrote them on the back of a recepit (the only paper we had in the car). If nothing less, we figured that if a cop pulled us over for speeding, s/he'd appreciate our effort.



We were really surprised with how many lakes and rivers we passed by/over. It made for a very pretty drive. 



Some random mountain.  


Then we passed a Salmon Stream.


Not to be confused with the Fish Stream. Which is different.


When we arrived at Denny's, I nearly lost my mind because it turned out to be an old-school diner! With red booths and everything!


I don't know which of us enjoyed our meal more. The Remix practically inhaled his pancakes and I couldn't get those spicy fries in my face fast enough. 



Apparently, the Bangor Denny's was one of the first in the chain. The had random memorabilia all over the place.


 This was the biggest Target we've ever been to, although to be fair, we've only been to one other. I mean, there was a Pizza Hut inside. A PIZZA HUT! Also, there was a ridiculous amount of nail polish for $1.99. There's a rumour that our government is increasing the amount of things you can bring back without paying duty. If that ends up happening, I'm going to have to bring a bigger bag.  


Part of my score included these earrings. I'm so obsessed with them that it makes me sad to take them off before going to bed. And the drying drops cost HALF of what I pay at home (grrr). It was also my first time buying Sinful Colors polish and, as I'm presently wearing it, can verify that the two-dollar polish is pretty good. Strike that. It's been four days and it's still chip-free. Eat that, OPI. 




On the way back home, we saw three hilarious licence plates. This was #1. 


#2   


#3 - The assisted parking pass probably comes in handy for Frodo. You know, being so small, and all. Do you think he drives with a booster seat?


Ahh, home sweet home. Please note the Fiddlehead on the bottom left side. If you come to New Brunswick, the Fiddlehead roads mark the scenic routes. Just don't eat them. They're gross. 


So, it took about 2.5 hours to get there and although it was slightly long, we'll probably go back. Especially if we can buy more than $40 worth of stuff without paying duty.


It was also fun to be spontaneous. We used to do fun random things all of the time but, with my health, it had been a while. Just getting up and going was half the fun of this trip, as was hanging with my hubby as we sang our way through Maine. 


Fine, fine, it was only me singing.




20.4.12

The Nail Files: Luxe and Lush-ious Jaques




The Nail Files



So I had a pretty crazy week. And not a good kind of crazy. However, on Tuesday, I got a wonderful surprise. 


I wandered into my local beauty supply outlet because I got an email about a sale. After checking  China Glaze's display for Luxe and Lush to see if it was still sold out (it was - it's literally been sold out since being released) I let out a big sigh and cursed the world (not really...well, maybe the sigh). 


Then, the woman who works at the store saw me and said: "Hey! Wait right there!" And she went into the back.


Not really sure what was going on, I waited. A minute or so later, she came back.


And what did she bring with her???


A bottle of Luxe and Lush!!! 


She said that she was at another outlet (one where you need to be an aesthetician to get in) and saw a bottle, so she BOUGHT IT FOR ME!!


How freaking amazing is she?


I swear, I had to stop myself from hugging her. She did seem to appreciate my squeal, though.


So, although I had a shitty week, at least my nails looked amazing!



 China Glaze's Luxe and Lush (eeeee!!!) OPI's Step Right Up & You Don't Know Jaques.



Two coats of Step Right Up & You Don't Know Jaques (on accent finger) and then one coat of Luxe and Lush (eeeee!!!). The funny part is just how different Luxe and Lush (eeeee!!) looks on the brown, versus the pink. Like I needed another reason to obsess over how awesome the sparkles are...haha!! (Also, please excuse my dry-ass hands. I forgot to put on moisturizer before taking the picture).



Thanks again to Tara and Vicki for hosting!




19.4.12

Hello there, Mr. Cottontail



It must be spring because our wild bunnies are back! YAY!



 I see you, Mr. Cottontail!



 Go bunny, go!



I really love living out here...



17.4.12

Too Pretty To Eat (Not Really)


A friend of mine had a birthday over the weekend, so I decided to break out my dusty cake-decorating skills and make her a kick-ass cake. After humming and hawing for a while, I eventually decided on a fondant-covered cake with royal icing flowers. 



So with the help of The Remix, a short refresher on piping techniques and a two kilograms of powdered sugar later, we managed to whip out a garden's worth of decorative (and edible) flowers.


Since the birthday girl's favourite colours are blues and purples, we made (blue) apple blossoms, chrysanthemums, primroses, violets and a whole bunch of leaves. Don't be too impressed, we took a couple of cake-decorating classes two years ago. Haha!



The next morning, it was time to make the mini-cupcakes! I used Martha Stewart's white cake recipe and it was pretty good, although the baking time needed to be adjusted (2 minutes less).



Then, I broke out my brand new cake pan to make a solid, 9" tall 3-tiered cake. That might not seem like much but it takes the same amount of batter as 12 standard sized-cupcakes! Plus, it was so much faster to decorate because there weren't layers to level and ice. YAY for new cake pans!


Err, there were some steps in between, like covering the tiered cake with fondant, but my hands were too sticky to take pictures. After smoothing the fondant, I piped broad circles of standard buttercream icing on the mini cupcakes. Then it was just a matter of choosing our best icing flowers to put on top!


All together, they look like a little garden!


They were a big hit and the party was super fun!! 


I forgot how much fun cake decorating can be. Hopefully it won't be so long until I make another. 


And a special shout-out to The Remix for making the flowers with me (great job, babe!).


16.4.12

So Who's Getting My Free Stuff?



Thanks to Rafflecopter's random selection button, I'm delighted to announce the winner of my very first giveaway.




13.4.12

The Nail Files: Sheer-ing Sparkly Stripes


Wohoo, time for The Nail Files!


The Nail Files



OPI's Sheer Your Toys, Rite Stripe's Silver and Purple Sparkles



Two coats of Sheer Your Toys, then a double-wide stripe of Purple Sparkles, with a slightly thinner stripe of Silver Sparkles underneath. Kind of low-key, but I like how the purple pops at the top.



Thanks to Tara and Vicki for hosting!



And if you love nails (which you probably do if you've linked up, haha) then make sure to enter my giveaway! It ends this Sunday.


Book Club Friday: Savannah Blues



Friggity, Fraggity, Friday!


Time for Book Club!

 


This week, I managed to find some time to finish reading Savannah Blues, which the lovely Heather from Living at 1...2...3 living sent me for the last Book Swap. And let me tell you, I freaking loved it!


 

First off, the names. Oh the character names! Ms. Andrews couldn’t have picked them more perfectly.


There’s Eloise, or Weezie, who’s a picker (garage-saler/antique-r) and the MC. The moment I read her name, I was reminded of "Ouizer" from Steel Magnolias and there's nothing more I could have asked Ms. Andrews for than a younger version of Shirley MacLaine's character. And let me tell you, they were pretty much the same person. Which was awesome. So freaking awesome.


Bebe – Weezie’s restauranter best friend. Every time I read this amazing name, I got a little sadder that mine is so plain.


Beaulieu – an older home that has its own name. Man, I just LOVE when properties have their own names. You know, aside from “my place” or "the crazy cat lady's house."


Talmage Evans III (Tal) – Weezie’s ex-husband. Can we just take a moment and appreciate the image that this name immediately conjers. Talk about a wonderful "show" of character! How can a guy with a name like that not be a douche? Am I right?


Daniel – Weezie’s new love interest. As this name is quite boring, you can see why it was hard for me to connect with him. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the name Daniel (in fact, it’s my brother-in-law’s name) but compared to the other awesome names, it falls a little flat.


It took me approximately seven seconds to fall in love with Weezie. Mostly because she calls her ex-husband’s new fiancé a bitch on page two, after she comes over to complain about Weezie’s dog peeing on her flowers. And why would Caroline, the fiancé, think that she had the right to knock on Weezie’s door? Well, because poor ole Weezie is stuck living in the carriage house/garage at the back of the property that she used to share with her husband.


Can you imagine waking up every morning to see your ex-husband with his lady?


Helooooooooo, nightmare.


*waves*


But back to Weezie, because if she were a real person, I’d stalk her until we became friends. Not only is she witty, but she makes her living by buying and selling antiques. Now, I don’t know much about antiques, or garage-sale-ing, but Ms. Andrews manages to describe objects in such detail that I could almost touch them. Plus, my house seemed to go from cold and dry to hot and humid as I followed Weezie around Savannah's scene.


The only thing I wasn't totally on-board with was Weezie's new love interest, Daniel. I don't know why, but I didn't really like him and he definitely wouldn't have been someone I'd pick for Weezie. I did appreciate Daniel’s culinary talents, as my mouth watered on more than one occasion, but aside from that, he just didn’t do it for me.


But I didn't have time to really lament over my ho-hum feelings about Daniel because, about halfway through, Ms. Andrews threw in a GINORMOUS PLOT TWIST that left my head spinning. The funny thing about ebooks is the lack of "back" to read, so I really wasn't expecting it. Mild spoiler alert: it's a very good twist. 


So all-in-all, I really enjoyed Savannah Blues. There was drama, mystery and enough comedy to keep things light. Plus, I was able to read the whole thing with a southern accent in mind…and y’all know just how much I love me a southern accent. Ha!


So thanks again to Heather for sending me my very first Mary Kay Andrews! It definitely won’t be my last!


And if you haven't already, pop on over here and enter my giveaway. There's a few different things up for grabs, including an Amazon gift card!


Happy Friday, everyone!

11.4.12

Best Teeny-Tiny Burgers of All Time


So as we all know, Pinterest is the devil.


Fine, fine, it's not...but it's pretty darn close.


It was always easy to find recipes online but MAN does Pinterest ever take things to the next level. Now I don't even have to think, I can just scroll.


Case in point: A knock-off White Castle Burger recipe.


Source: food.com via Billie on Pinterest



It's now been the better part of four months since I've eaten fast food, and as hard as I try, I still miss it (you have no idea how humbling/cringe-worthy/depressing it is to write that). That being said, I've never actually been to a White Castle but every time I see Harold and Kumar, I wonder just how delicious the tiny burgers are.



Okay, so I have to admit that aside from the ingredients, I didn't follow this recipe. There was just something about meat re-absorbing it's grease in an oven that wasn't terribly appealing. Since we're BBQ enthusiasts, we opted for the grill.

Here's what you'll need:




  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck (I used local ground beef)
  • 1 (4 tablespoons) envelope onion soup mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 12 small square dinner rolls
  • Cheese slices
  • Pickles


  • Seriously. That's all there is.


    So mix everything to the breadcrumbs in a big bowl. Then get a big baking pan, line it with parchment paper, and press the meat down. Flipping the pan upside down, you'll be left with one big rectangle burger that you can cut into little squares. (I have no pictures of these steps because my hands were all meat-y. Thank you for your understanding)


    Onto the BBQ, the teeny-tiny burgers went. (Err...we were having people over for supper. They weren't all for us).



    The patties shrunk to a perfect size for the buns. Oh, and we used "real" cheddar cheese instead of the plastic slices. 


    With a pickle, a couple squirts of ketchup and mustard and the little baby burgers were good to go. And let me tell you - they're DELICIOUS! Don't you just love it when a super simple recipe ends up being AMAZING? 



    I know that I do!!



    And in an unrelated note, make sure to enter my very first giveaway! There are a few things up for grabs including a MYSTERY PRIZE!





    9.4.12

    I'm Giving Away Free Stuff!


    You know what sucks?


    Mondays after a long weekend.


    You know what makes Mondays after a long weekend, better?


    A giveaway!


    More specifically...


    MY GIVEAWAY!!


    *blows trombone*


    I've had a run of great luck recently with contests and want to give a little something back. Since I love a lot of different things, it was hard for me to figure out what to give away. Then, a brilliant idea struck me. 


    Why not let YOU choose?


    Yes, you read that right. For my very first giveaway, you'll get to choose from two options.


    *bangs gong*


    Prize Option #1 - Nails!


    It's OPI's New York City Ballet minis! 


    *cues studio audience clapping*


    The three lovely neutrals and one sparkle polish are from one of OPI's newly released collections and are simply perfect for spring.


    What? Nails not your thing? Don't worry because there's another prize up for grabs!


    *cranks curtains open*



    Prize Option #2 - Books!

    If you don't use Amazon, I'll substitute it for another online book retailer. Like I'd let you win a prize that you couldn't use. Just what kind of gal do you think I am?


    Wait...that's not enough, you say?


    Really?


    NOT ENOUGH?


    Well, I agree!


    Because I'm feeling REALLY good, not only will you get to choose Prize Option #1 or Prize Option #2 but you can ALSO enter to win the Bonus Mystery Prize!



    Bonus MYSTERY Prize!

    Ooooo, what is it, WHAT IS IT??


    Who doesn't love a bonus prize wrapped in a mystery?? (this is a rhetorical question)


    So follow the rafflecopter instructions and then leave a comment on this post, identifying which of the two prize options you'd like. And if you want to win the Bonus Mystery Prize, in addition to your choice of Nails or Books, share a link to something that makes you laugh.


     (I'm not going to be judging your links - just leaving one is enough to qualify!)


    Yup, that's it!


    So what are you waiting for?


    The giveaway closes Sunday, April 15th at midnight!


    (anyone who lives in Canada or The USA can enter)

    6.4.12

    The Nail Files: Saving Shattered Audrey


    The Nail Files



     China Glaze's For Audrey, OPI's White Shatter and OPI's Save Me 



    So there's one coat of For Audrey, one coat of White Shatter and then one coat of Save Me on my feature finger. It'd been a while since I'd done a cracked polish and, I must admit, it will probably be my last. It's okay but I'd rather have more sparkles and a cracked polish with sparkles on every finger would be too much -- like nail ADD (and nobody wants that). 



    Thanks to Tara and Vicki for hosting!