28.6.13

The Nail Files: Getting Some (Beaver) Tail



The Nail Files Link Up


It's Canada Day on Monday, which means that it's a LONG WEEKEND, BABY! WOOT WOOT!!

So, in honour of my nation's day, I decided to do a little tribute to one of the more awesome animals we've got up here: The Beaver! 

*points*

Woot Woot!! Beavers are the best! Haha!


Here's what I used:



Pictorial For The Beaver:


Step 1: White base coat with Paper Mache.

Step 2: Using a flat nail art brush, make two circles, on one top of each other using You Don't Know Jacques!

Step 3: Make eyeballs with Paper Mache and a medium-sized dotting too. Use Black Expressionism for the pupils (with a smaller dotting tool). With a small, triangular nail brush, make the teeth. Another little black dot for the nose, and you're all set for the final step.

Step 4: Carefully outline the teeth with the Black Rite Stripe and add two tiny ears with a small dotting tool and You Don't Know Jacques!

On the other nails, there are two coats of Paper Mache and then two coats of O Canada! (thanks for that, Julep, haha!). 


Pictorial For The Tail:


Step 1: Using a flat nail art brush, make a moderately-sized oval just off centre of your nail with You Don't Know Jacques!

Step 2: With the Black Rite Stripe, make some diagonal lines and then criss-cross them. 

Step 3: Put the tail together with the beaver and think happy thoughts about Canada! :D


This one took some time, but it was cool because I'm all about Canadian Pride. Haha! And HEY! I'm sure that you've read the news but I'm going to be taking over hosting duties for The Nail Files starting next week! Tara and Vicki have done such an amazing job over the last year-and-a-half and I'm VERY excited to be able to keep the linkup going because it's one of my favourites! So next week, come by here and show off your fabulous manicures!! I'll even have virtual cupcakes for everyone because, you know, it's nice to offer food to guests. Haha!!


Have an awesome weekend, everyone, and see you here next week!!




26.6.13

Giving Away Some Mad Props


If you've been a follower for a while, you know that I can sometimes get a bit rant-y about companies that suck (don't we all?) but recently, I've had a string of really great experiences and it got me thinking about how I could be even rant-i-er about the awesome experiences (because positivity trumps negativity and I'm all about trumping, ha!). So, after a brainstorming session involving entirely too much a perfectly reasonable amount of wine, I came up with a new award/series to recognize awesomeness named: mad props from jennie shaw (because giving props is good, but giving mad props is better and a whole sack of mad props is pretty much the best, ha!) 



(yes, that's my hand, which you probably suspected anyway because of the fun chevron nail polish, haha!)

But guys! It turns out that I wasn't done thinking because then I had ANOTHER idea about how the whole thing could be even MORE awesome! 

Wanna hear it? Of course you do.

The whole thing could be more awesome if YOU were involved! That way, it wouldn't just be me giving away a few mad props, but LOTS of people giving away LOTS of mad props! And the more mad props, the better, right?


Mad props are just like snaps, only they don't make any noise and are contained in a virtual sack. Ha!

So if you have a company/restaurant/person/whatever that you'd like to give some mad props to, shoot me an email (found in the contact me tab), tell me your story, and we'll get to work sending them some! Yay!

I already have a list started, so you can expect the first post soon. And please keep the mad props series/award in mind the next time you have an awesome experience and, if you want, we can spread some positivity together! 

Woot! Woot!

(FYI: that was the positivity train whistling, haha!)



25.6.13

Proof That The Remix Loves Me


It's no secret that I love nail polish. Like, a lot. Now, it's not like I haven't always liked having pretty nails, but over the last year or so, things have gotten slightly out of control. And by that, I mean that I am now drowning in have a whole lot of nail polish. 

At first, my collection could be contained in a clear shoe-box-sized container but soon, I needed another...and then they were so crammed that I couldn't close the tops. When I'd go to look for a specific colour, I'd sometimes have to take them all out, thusly spreading them over the top of the coffee table and leaving little room for anything else while simultaneously driving The Remix crazy because he can't live in that kind of chaos.  

Trolling Pinterest one day for a solution, I saw a wall-mounted nail polish organizer, thought it was totally perfect, and was all: 

TGIF.


So I got to work trying to source a company that made them and would also ship to Canada. But, after a very long time trying, it was clear that it wasn't going to happen, and I was sad: 



But then, The Remix said that he could make me one and I went back to feeling like this:



So, The Remix went to the hardware store, picked up whatever he needed and got to work. And here's what he made me!

Eeeeee!! It's so pretty!


And it holds all of my polish WITH room to add more! He's a smart one, that Remix.


So now I get to sit at my vanity, do my makeup, while looking at my fabulous collection!!


He really is just the best. Seriously. 


And in other nail-related news: I'm going to be taking over hosting duties for The Nail Files linkup! I know! It's AWESOME! Tara and Vicki are passing me the proverbial torch starting July 5th, so this is the last week to link up on either of their blogs and then the next week, it'll be here! Wohoo!! But don't worry about having to remember because I'll be doing all the social media stuff to remind you of the change because I know that you won't want to miss seeing what all The Nail Filers have been up to for the week. At least, I know that I won't want to miss out! Ha! 




21.6.13

Book Club Friday: Georgetown Academy, Season One





I was fortunate enough to get a copy of Georgetown Academy, Season One through a Coliloquy R4R on Goodreads and considering that I hadn't read any books in the series before I started, and then proceeded to read all four of them in two days, I’d say that the authors, Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz are a pair of extremely talented authors.


Georgetown Academy, Season One


Book One sets the stage with characters and setting, and I was hooked faster than a bass chasing a shiny lure (yes, I just made a fishing reference, I’m not sure what’s up with that, ha). Georgetown Academy is a private high school for Washington D.C.’s most influential politicians, so not only do the students have to deal with normal angst-y problems, but they also have to be extremely conscious about how their choices and actions will affect their parents’ careers. In essence, it’s kind of a nightmare. Well, it’d be my kind of nightmare, but these kids sure seem to love it.


There are four main characters, all female (yay), and they’re about as different as you can get.


First up is Brinley, who’s a BFD as far as her family history is concerned, not to mention that her father is the go-to-guy for PR on The Hill, and although she’s pretty snarky, it’s easy to see why she is the way that she is. Loyalty to her family is priority number one and because of that, she's often called to befriend people who she doesn't necessarily like. Not that she's fake, per say, but she has more responsibility on her shoulders than the average teen (and that would make anyone cranky, right?).


Next, there’s Ellie, who is Brinley’s best friend and the daughter of a Senator. She’s much nicer than Brinley, but that doesn’t mean she’s a pushover. Ellie dates the biggest catch at G.A. and, as such, is one of the school's more prominent students. But, it isn't all sunshine and unicorns, though, as Ellie's been keeping a tiny secret that, if found out, has the potential to destroy her mother's career. 


Evan is kind of the geek of Georgetown, and a bit of an outsider as her family isn’t involved in politics (and she attends the school via a scholarship) but she’s an intern at a very influential political news show, so she’s knows all of the 4-1-1 regarding both the Republican and the Democratic parties. But, just because she's not personally involved in the drama doesn't mean she's far from it. Nope, not one bit.  In fact, she even manages to find herself knee-deep in her own scandal swamp, as the series progresses. 


Finally, there’s Taryn, who was, hands-down, my favorite of the bunch (or, until the last book in the series, that is...Ooo, teaser! Haha!). She’s new to G.A., having moved from California, where her father was a mega-politician, and her West Coast mentality goes over as well as her penchant for hippie-style clothing and saying exactly what she’s thinking (in other words: not very well at all). But, when Taryn's father becomes a big deal in D.C., she'll have to choose between staying true to herself or succumbing to the voices that say she has to change. 


If the cool, layered characters aren't enough to pique your interest, here's another awesome thing about Georgetown Academy – it’s an interactive book! I know, right? It's amazing!! The chapters cycle through the four girl's points of view and then there's a point where you can choose which character’s storyline you want to follow! It was a genius move to bring back the choose-your-own-adventure-style and I loved it! And, naturally, I read all four perspectives because I was just too curious to pick one. Ha!


There are about a thousand side-plots, which makes writing a review of all of them impossible (and spoiler-y) but rest assured that the combination of age-old teen problems and the pressure of politics creates a high-stakes story from page one. The second I finished Book One, I was on to the second because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! And man, are the other three books wearing their crazy pants, guys. Like, the kind of pants that LMFAO would wear, only brighter and with more sparkles (yeah, it really gets that crazy). 


All in all, GEORGETOWN ACADEMY was a fun, well-written series. I really liked the alternating points of view, and the authors created truly unique characters who leapt off the page and into my heart. So, if you like intense high-school drama that’s laced with American politics, then the GEORGETOWN ACADEMY series is for you! And trust me, you should just buy Season 1 instead of individual books because just like Pringles chips, once you pop that first page of Book One, you just can’t stop.


Thanks to Heather and Katie for hosting, and have a great weekend, everyone! 

The Nail Files: Poppin' That Art


The Nail Files Link Up


This week's mani was inspired by the random way my polish was arranged on my coffee table. By chance, a bright green, blue, purple, yellow, and pink just happened to be clustered together and I was all: HEY, THAT LOOKS LIKE POP ART! I SHOULD DO A POP ART MANI! YAY!


Hahahahahaha! Yes, I really did say that out loud and followed it up with a giggle.


So, I got out my dotting tools and got to work.


Here's what I used:




Left Hand:



Right Hand:



Step 1: Two coats of Paper Mache.


Step 2: Get the Black Stripe Rite and write something in the middle of your feature nails. Do two coats of black (and try not to have a lot of caffeine the day you try to do this because shaky fingers will result in the "Pop" problem of stray lines on my right hand, just sayin'). Then, do a zig-zag pattern around the words.


Step 3: Take out the colours you'd like to use and, using a small dotting tool, pick one of the bright colours and get to work filling in the space around the zig-zag. 


Step 4: Fill in the rest of your nails with differently coloured dots and -- BAM -- you've got a killer pop art mani. 


The hardest part of this mani was definitely writing the words. I'd say that if you have a pal who's inclined to help, it may work better to have someone do it for you (especially as writing with your "other" hand is super challenging not to mess up). Aside from that, though, as long as you can do dots, this mani doesn't take very long. Plus, it's SUPER FUN, GUYS, which means that you should totally do it. Doooooo it. Haha!!


Have an awesome weekend!


And thanks to Tara and Vicki for hosting!




19.6.13

A Snow Day in June? (i'm an idiot)



Here's a recent conversation that happened between me and The Remix when we were listening to the radio and driving around town.


Me: Holy hell, tell me that they're not actually playing this Walk Off The Earth song. There should be a law against playing winter songs in June.


The Remix, with a confused look: Sorry, but what does winter have to do with this song?


Me, with an equally confused look: Um, only everything. This is basically a Christmas song and since it's almost summer now, they should be playing LFO or something instead. 


The Remix: Yeah, that still doesn't make any sense and I can't believe you just referenced LFO.


Me: First of all, it's your face that doesn't make any sense and second, that Abercrombie song is awesome and totally summer-y, and I will keep listening to it even though the company's CEO is an asshat.


The Remix: *hard stare*


Me: Okay, fine. Your face makes total sense but they legit need to stop playing this song because it makes me want to put on a sweater and drink hot chocolate. Seriously. Turn off the A/C cause I'm freezing.


The Remix: You've officially lost me. Why does this song make you want to wear a sweater?


Me: Because it's about a snow day, obviously. Don't you listen to the lyrics? Geez, babe. We only hear this song a bazillion times a day because the radio stations have been playing it on repeat since it first came out.


The Remix, laughing: Okay, you sing along so I can hear what you're talking about because I'm pretty sure that this song isn't about a snow day.


Me, confident with my stance: It is most certainly about a snow day. You just sit back and listen.


*waits for chorus* 

It's that kind of snow day and it's not in my head.
It's that kind of snow day and it's not in my head.
The fire's burning and I'm the one with the match-es. 
It's that kind of snow day and it's not in my head.

Oh yeah, oh yeah-ah, that kind of snow day. 


The Remix, laughing to the point that we almost swerved off the road: You better look up those lyrics before you hit up any karaoke, babe, because you're way off.


Me: Fine. That's exactly what I'm going to do but don't blame me when I find them and it turns out that you're totally wrong.


So, full of righteousness and determination, I googled the lyrics, which is when I found out that I was WAY WRONG, guys. Like, really, really, really wrong.


How wrong, you ask? Well, here are the actual lyrics:

That gun is loaded, but it's not in my hand.
That gun is loaded, but it's not in my hand.
The fire burns, I'm not the one with the match, man.
That gun is loaded, but it's not in my hand.

Oh yeah, oh yeah-ah, that gun is loaded.


Now, before you go thinking that I've been in a bathroom snorting pixie sticks, I invite you to listen to the song and tell me that you legitimately can't see how it happened. I mean, those chime-y bits in the beginning TOTALLY sound like Christmas, right? Or at least Christmas-like, anyway, and that just re-confirms the fact that this song is about kids playing outside during a snow day and not about some random gun. Seriously, take a listen before you judge (and then you can laugh at me). 





I've messed up lyrics before but this was a pretty epic fail and whenever I hear it now, I laugh my little pants off (which is better than the song making me feel cold, so there is that, haha).


What are some of the song lyrics that you've mis-heard? Have any of them been this far off? Please share so I know that I'm not alone in potentially needing a hearing enhancement operation. Haha!






14.6.13

Book Club Friday: Game. Set. Match.




Before I start my review, I should identify a bias of mine: I LOVE TENNIS! It’s totally my favourite sport, so whenever I see a novel that involves tennis, I get all grabby-hands (which, a Twitter pal said the other day and I’ve decided to take it and use it as my own…so, err, thanks? Ha!). My TBR list was enormous so even though I wanted to read GAME. SET. MATCH the second it was released, I decided to wait as I was already feeling judged by my iPad because I wasn't reading enough (seriously, I swear that I could feel it staring at me). BUT, then I got an email from Coliloquy, who published GAME. SET. MATCH., saying that it was temporarily on sale, so I bought a copy and then finally got a chance to read it earlier this week. From start to finish, the book took me less than three hours and it was the best 172-ish minutes of my day.


Game. Set. Match. (Outer Banks Tennis Academy)


I’ll admit that I’ve been on a YA/NA kick as of late, and GAME. SET. MATCH. fit right in to my reading theme du jour. There was teen drama, high-enough emotional stakes, some good old-fashioned cattiness, and it was all set in the world renowned Outer Banks Tennis Academy, which is on the North Carolina coast (which means that everyone had accents in my head, and that was awesome).


The main characters include Jasmine, who, as the daughter of two amazeballs tennis stars, volleys the daily pressure to live up to her family name and wanting to be her own person, while being hopelessly infatuated with her BFF Teddy—a notorious womanizer (or as much as a womanizer can be for his early 20s—wait, does that make me sound like an old fuddy duddy? DISREGARD IF THAT IS THE CASE. Ha!).


Jasmine always thought that she was Outer Bank’s most skilled, unranked player, but that all changes when newbie Indiana grand-slams herself onto the court and destroys everyone with her killer forehand and conventional good looks. Indiana has faced some serious personal setbacks in her life and is just returning to the game, but her natural talent has her shutting out her competition left, right, and center, which makes her a social outcast amongst the other female players because they’re all jealous of her natural talent.


The only one who doesn’t really care about Indiana is Penny, the rising star and Outer Banks' old-timer (despite being in her twenties) because she’s too busy training for a chance to take down the #1 ranked player in the world in the French Open, despite the many distractions that threaten her game. Namely, her ex-fling Alex, whose sensuous British accent lured her into trouble during the Australian Open and threatened her reputation. Penny thought that she would never see Alex again, but when Penny’s coach brings him to Outer Banks to be her new hitting partner, she can’t hide from her past anymore.


Penny’s family also contributes about sixty percent of the male eye candy of GAME. SET. MATCH., as Jasmine’s BFF Teddy is Penny’s twin brother. And that’s not all, folks! Penny’s older brother Jack (who is also her manager) catches Indiana’s attention but, just like an overhead smash, some of the potential relationships inevitably land outside the court of love (warning: I’m going to keep badly punning the pants off of this review at every opportunity).


As the latter part of the book is set during the French Open, we get to go to Paris. Woot Woot! Now, there isn’t a lot of description on Paris but I was able to picture the Roland Garros complex as I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the French Open after my cousin illegally bought scalped tickets for us, convinced the guards to let us in with our blatantly scalped tickets (this is a major offence, we legit could have been arrested as there were signs EVERYWHERE that told us so), and then schmoozed our way into seats on one of the main courts (our illegal tickets were NOT for that one) to see the last few games of the Women’s Semi-Finals (I have amazingly awesome family who are just as quirky as I am). However, the lack of scenic description didn’t hamper my enjoyment, but that's probably because I had been there before.








Anyway, back to GAME. SET. MATCH. As this book is about tennis, that’s pretty much what the main plot concerns, and the other subplots like romantic entanglements, family issues, and various teenaged stressors fill in the downtime with more than enough to keep you interested even if you’re not a tennis fan (although you really should consider becoming one because tennis is the bestest).


The characters were solid and somewhat layers, the description of the game and the amount of training that’s required to become a pro is accurate, the dialogue was particularly engaging, and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I’ll also note that this was probably the first “true” New Adult book I’ve read, and by that, I mean that it was more mature than, say PRETTY LITTLE LIARS or GEORGETOWN ACADEMY but still wasn't catering to a strictly adult audience, so props to Jennifer Iacopelli because that's a pretty tricky thing to pull off. 


So, if you are a tennis enthusiast who likes novels with protagonists who are their late teens and early twenties, and can appreciate a greatly written steamy make-out session, then GAME. SET. MATCH. will fire an ace straight down the center line and into your heart.  


Have a super awesome weekend, everyone!


And thanks to Heather and Katie for hosting!