the nail files: peek a BOO

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It's time! It's time!


Nobody expresses my excitement level like Big Ang. #mobwivesforlife

In case you haven't noticed, I'm hella psyched. Haha! But how could I not be? It's finally dress up day, which is one of the top three days of the whole freaking year!

Woot Woot!!

And although the mani I'm sharing this week doesn't match my costume, it's still totally Halloween-y.

I started with two coats of Iconic Orange, and then did two coats of the gradient, using a triangular make-up sponge. When that was dry, I added white dots for the eyes with a large dotting tool, and added black pupils with a medium dotting tool. That's it, folks! And as much as Daniela likes to make fun of me for saying (loveyourfacegirl), it was a pretty simple mani! Haha!

What are your plans for tonight? What are you dressing up as? I WANT TO KNOW BECAUSE HALLOWEEN IS THE BEST (NO I DON'T CARE THAT I'M SCREAMING). Haha!

Don't forget to link up and show off your pretties!

Also, as a small announcement, Toria will be hosting a Jamberry party on her blog on Nov 14, so mark it in your calendars! There'll be some activities and the chance to win some prizes. :)


the nail files: glamorous ghosts

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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**


Woot woot! It's Friday! Only two weeks until Halloween!

I've seen some mega scary nails out there for Halloween, but I'm a total scardy-cat, so I'm opting for a more fun loving kind of mani. Please keep your shredded tips to yourself.


I kept it pretty simple, using only black and white.

Believe it or not, this was a really easy mani. I applied two coats of base colour and then let it dry for a while. With the brush from the bottle, I used Paper Mache to make the ghosts. A few black dots for the eyes and the mouth and voila! Ghosts!

I've been on another nail art supplies binge and picked up some neon studs a couple of weeks ago. There were some small neon orange circles, so I added them, followed by some rhinestones because I seriously cannot handle a mani without some sparkle.

The rhinestones are hard to see with the indoor picture, but BAM, did they stand out when I went outside. Haha!

Are you rocking Halloween nails already? If so, what are you wearing? And don't forget to link up and show off. Happy weekend!

(Also? Anyone else singing Fergie in their head? Whenever I see the word glamourus, I have to spell it. Fergie style. Haha!)


the nail files: triangular tips

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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**


This week, my mani didn't turn out quite as I envisioned. Ugh. I just hate when that happens, don't you? I mean, the end result was okay, but I'll probably end up trying the same design but with different colours. C'est la vie, right?

I started with two coats of Intelligence, Integrity & Courage and when that was dry, got out my painter's tape and started cutting strips. I placed them along the top of each nail (or bottom, in the case of my middle finger), creating a triangle. I rubbed the edges of the tape with my finger a couple of times to get a good seal, and then added two coats of Pool Party

After that was dry-ish, I peeled off the tape and then waited for it to dry, fully. The final touch was the white border, where I used standard Stripe Rite.

I think this mani's problem was putting the pink over the grey. I'd imagined a super bright pop of pink, but it ended up looking way more orangey-red. Not the worst, but still a booooo. Haha!!

Did you have better luck than me? What did your nails look like this week? Link up and show 'em off!

book review: the enchanted

When I first heard of THE ENCHANTED, I was cautiously curious. I mean, I like darker books—ones that take place in unusual settings and with unreliable narrators—but I really had no idea what I was getting into. It’s like The Green Mile meets The Brothers Grimm with a touch of American Horror Story, which is a seriously intense combination that Rene Denfeld pulls off like a freaking boss.

 The Enchanted: A Novel

Another way I’d describe THE ENCHANTED would be like getting tickets to a symphony, but arriving to see one woman, sitting at a piano in the middle of the stage. You’re not sure what’s going on as she begins to play, because it sounds like she’s only using flats and sharps, and you're left squirming in your seat because it’s too strange a sound. But somehow, the song grows and evolves, eventually filling the room and bringing everyone to their feet for a standing ovation…which is when you realize that (a) you're weeping, and (b) the song hadn't gotten better because the pianist used different notes, but because somehow, those uncomfortable moments opened up your mind and you were truly able to hear the melody. In other words: The song didn't change, you changed. 

Whoa. That was deep. Haha!

Okay, I may have gone overboard there, but THE ENCHANTED is an incredibly difficult book to review because of its uniqueness. It’s a book that’s full of contradictions, and not just the ones you’d expect. It flips the truth on its head and gives you an entirely different perspective, but only if you’re open to seeing it.

The writing was elegant and, for lack of a better word, enchanting. (Way to pick a good title, Harper.) But it was haunting as well. The death row inmate who helps narrate the story escapes the badness of his life by re-imaging the world he lives in, giving the crumbling old prison a chance to be something else. And with descriptions like a pack of golden horses running underneath the prison, which the narrator uses when describing earthquakes, how could I not get swept away?

We never learn the narrator's name, nor do we learn why he’s on death row (although there are some hints). Instead, the plot focuses on an investigator, the Lady, as she attempts to save another inmate’s life. We learn all about that inmate, both through Lady and the un-named prisoner narrator, and that’s where the theme of humanity really shines through. Kind of like a supernova, actually.  

From what you’re read of my review so far, I think it’s clear that this book isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth reading because it’s just so…excellent. Like, on every level: character development, imagery, craft, and the provoking plot is sewn into the prose like only the most talented writers can do.

So if you’re in the market for an unexpected tale of darkness and humanity that will leave you wondering what the heck you just read (in the best possible way), then THE ENCHANTED is for you.

Linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday! Mosey on over and rustle up some new reads! Haha!



belated (and slightly braggy) thanksgiving

In the last four years, my domestic duties have pretty much stopped taken a sharp nosedive slacked. Back in the day, I sometimes spent upwards of a few hours preparing a gourmet, from-scratch dinner that included anything from lasagna with homemade noodles and sauce, stuffed chicken breasts, and savoury crêpes. But all that changed once I fell in love with writing, and now we mostly eat simple things that one could probably find on a toddler's favourite food list. You know: fish sticks, pasta, frozen pizza...all the good stuff that has limited nutritional value but can be cooked in less than twenty minutes. Mmmmm...(kind of, anyway). 

So this Thanksgiving, I decided to really do Thanksgiving. Even though it was just the three of us (The Remix, my Baby Brother, and me) I figured that I'd pull out all the stops. The result was one of the best meals I've ever made, which is why I took about a thousand pictures because I was super proud of myself. Haha! 

I opted for ham instead of turkey because touching uncooked poultry is mega gross and ham is way easier. Haha!

There were also mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and local corn on the cob. As well as a homemade loaf of bread and an apple pie, made from local apples and a whole lotta butter (thanks, Martha! haha!).

I got the little pumpkins at the grocery store. Aren't they cute?

I know I'm biased but man, was that ever a delicious plate. Haha!

 One of the things I'm thankful for? These two guys. I lucked out in the brother and partner department. Like, big time. We all wrote what we were thankful for on these adorable mini trucker hats, in order to keep to the theme. And because the hats were hilarious.

Mine read: Family, Fur Babies, Friends (and this awesome hat).

We took a break before dessert, because our bodies needed time to process the first round of face-stuffing, and it worked out fine because it gave me time to warm up the pie, which I made the day before.

There really is nothing like warm apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream. 

*sighs happily*

And because I'm not only a super awesome cook but also a super awesome fur baby mama, Pickle and Pepi also got to partake in the feast. They were extremely excited.

We ate until our pants couldn't take anymore and then we moved to the living room to hang out. After that, The Remix did the dishes. Like, all of them, which was probably one of things that I was most thankful for. 

Because I really hate doing dishes. Haha!


julep giveaway winner!!!

After an astounding 530 entries (you guys and gals must LOVE you some Julep polish, haha) I'm delighted to announce that daniela is the winner!!

*fires glitter cannon*

Congrats, girl!!! You get them allllllll. Also? You sure must be surprised because your avi looks straight up shocked. Or confused. Maybe a little of both? Haha!

Thanks to all who entered! And thanks again to Julep, for being so generous! 

I loved hearing about your favourite fall colours, so thanks for all of the comments, fellow nail polish enthusiasts! Dark reds, greens, and blues were the most popular, but I'd like to give a special shout out to karin, who chose mint green. Eff those darker colours. Haha! You do you, karin! Love it!

And on that note, have you discovered what kind of beauty profile you are? I rotate between Bombshell and It Girl. Because, obviously. Haha! Sign up to be a Maven and you'll get to choose fun polishes each month, delivered right to your door. Also, if you join via the link, because it's a referral (meaning I'd get some Maven points if you join) you'll get an extra special Halloween bonus! YAY!

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!


the nail files: autumn art deco

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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**


To keep in-theme with the giveaway I'm offering (which ends today at midnight) I did another all-Julep mani. Inspired by the bitter wind fall breeze,  I had intended to work with a monochromatic colour scheme. As you can tell by the polishes below, that didn't exactly work out. Haha!

Each nail has two coats of each polish and after it was really dry, I added two pieces of painter's tape to make the triangles on my ring and middle finger, and then did two quick coats of Felicity. I let the gold polish set for about a minute before pulling it off. And let me say that this is the first time I've never had to clean up any bleeds. Use painter's tape, peeps! And before you paint over it, rub the edges a little bit so the heat creates a seal. #nailarttips Haha!

And like I've already mentioned, today's the last day to enter the giveaway for FOUR Julep nail polishes! If you link up to the nail files today, you'll get another TEN entries! Woot!

Can't wait to see what you're all rocking! And I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FYI, this giveaway is open internationally, as long as you're aware that the polishes may take forever to arrive at destinations outside of North America. If you're cool with that, I'm cool with paying for the postage. :) And if you already commented on the first post with your favourite fall nail polish colours, that counts as your commenting entry. Just trying to keep it fair!

book review: the queen of the tearling

I first heard of THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING when I was online somewhere, reading that Emma Watson had loved it and then bought the movie rights. Or signed on to the movie. Okay, so I’m not one hundred percent sure what’s going down there, but the point of this story is that I bought THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING because if Emma Watson, the actor who played the incredible Hermoine Granger, says it’s that good, then it probably is.

The Queen of the Tearling (Queen of the Tearling, The)

And boy oh boy, have I ever been sold on any future, indirect Emma Watson recos.


Because this was nutso good, guys and gals.

I whipped through the rough-unfinished edge pages in about a day, which isn’t unusual for me, but this whoppper was 448 pages so yeah, it kind of took over my life. And that was fine by me.

The main character’s name is Kelsea Glynn and she’s the sole heir to the throne of Tearling—a socialist society set waaaay in the future, although it seems like the past. All in all, Kelsea’s a pretty freaking cool nineteen-year-old for being raised by secret foster parents because her mother, Queen Elyssa, wasn’t the best ruler and was consequently murdered for ruining the kingdom. But once Kelsea turns nineteen, she has a chance to make it right by assuming the throne. 

Unfortunately, the uncle who’d taken over the throne while his soldiers secretly sought her out for years in order to kill her isn’t too keen on the idea of stepping aside, but Kelsea kicks ass from the very beginning and makes it all the way to the kingdom where she subsequently tells her uncle to suck it because she’s there to stay. But in a far more eloquent way, obviously. She's a Queen, after all. Or, maybe Queen-in-Training is a better title, considering she's just started. 

And seeing Kelsea come into her own was a primary component of this book, which I suspect will also be the case with the rest of the series. There’s a genuine tone to her nature that's very accessible, and she truly wants to do what’s best for her kingdom, only she doesn't know how. There’s so much going on behind her back, in addition to mistakes from the past that are set to destroy the kingdom, and it’s up to Kelsea to figure it all out while simultaneously trying to keep herself from being assassinated. As you can imagine, it's kind of like putting out seventeen forest fires with a misting machine. 

Being a fantasy, there’s a dose of dark magic, but the part that really hooked me was the writing. It’s just so pretty, guys. And dark. And deep. Like slipping into a cool lake whilst being unaware of the six-headed eels that will eat your feet and suck out your blood if you disturb them. Granted, there are no such creatures in THE QUEEN, but there very well could be, because that’s the kind of intense undertone that each word brought forth. This may be classified as YA on Goodreads, but I think this is far more of an adult novel. The pace speaks to that as well, I think, because it was a gradual crescendo and I’m not sure it would be fast enough for the kids.

In sum, I can’t wait for the rest of the series! I’ll be forty by the time I’ve read them all, but good things come to those who wait, right? And at least now you know what to get me for my birthday for the next six years. Haha!

I'm linking up with Heather's Book Club Friday! Pop on over and check out some new reads!


the nail files: julep maven meetup

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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**


In addition to living life on the physical edge, last Friday, I also went to my first ever Julep Maven Meetup!

What's a Meetup, you ask?

Well, it's a place for Julep enthusiasts to get together and chat about fun pretty polishes and cool beauty products, while sipping perfectly chilled wine and munching on yummy aps.

Okay, so that may not actually be an official description but it sure was my experience! Haha!

It was in the Lobby of the swank-tastic Thompson Hotel, where even the wallpaper was awesome, as it had a black and white faux bookcase pattern and cool, vintage lightbulb dangly chandeliers. There were two glossy white tables set up, one with Julep products and the other displaying a delightful assortment of drinks and snacks. 

I had just gotten my bearings when Jane came up to introduce herself. She was so freaking nice and approachable that I just stood there and stared stupidly smiled. I'd hoped I'd get to meet her but it never even occurred to me that she'd make the first move. Not only that, but at one point, she was serving people drinks while doing a product demonstration for Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil.

Yes, you read that right, guys and gals, the CEO of Julep was pouring wine and loving every minute. Like, genuinely. And talk about being passionate about products! She knew everything about everything, right off the top of her head. Plus, she was funny. Not only that, but she wanted to get feedback on which products Mavens loved, and things they wished Julep offered. There was even a box to leave suggestions. I've literally never felt like such a valued customer.

I know that right now, Jane kind of sounds like a robot because what CEO is genuinely happy to mingle with customers? (not any I've ever met) But I swear, she's real. Also? She wears marvellous accessories. And that says a lot about a person, in and of itself, doesn't it? No? Just for me then? Haha!

The other Julep rep was Jane's assistant, Lissa, and she was just as awesome! Enthusiastic, warm, and a seriously cool gal who just happens to be the inspiration behind one of my favourite Julep teals: the aptly-named, Lissa. When we were bonding over having first names that people think are short form for something else chatting, she mentioned the polish and it rang a bell because teals are kind of my jam and, sure enough, when I got home, I found that I did a mani with it a few months ago. Haha!

Anyway, between the spread of products, drinks, and snacks, and the two fantastic hosts, it was a super fun couple of hours. Jane and Lissa truly made an enormous effort to make sure everyone was comfortable, and also explain which products they'd brought for us to try. We got previews for November's colours, as well as the holiday collection which is to die. Seriously, people. See that glitter on the far right hand side of the six polishes up there? Its name is Tara and it almost killed me with its beauty.

This picture doesn't come close to doing it justice, but it was the best one I had. 

When that collection comes out, I'm going to be all over it...and then it's going to be all over my nails because, ohemgeeitssofreakingpretty.

Also, because this was a Julep event, I did a special Julep mani, featuring the two colours from my September box, as well as a blue I already had.

So in sum, the Meetup was pretty much the best way to end my Super Fun Friday. It was delightful to connect with other Mavens, and a serious treat to see all the new glitters while hanging with fellow nail polish enthusiasts. If there's ever a Meetup in your area GO GO GO!! (Thanks so much, Jane and Lissa!)

At the end of the event, we each got to pick a polish out of a GIANT pink box, which is when things got a bit hairy, but when the pixie dust settled, there were a few left over. I asked permission, because I'm a geek like that, and I got the go ahead to choose some to give away on the nail files! So if you win, it'll almost be like you were at the Toronto Maven Meetup with me, only better because instead of one bottle, you'll get... 


*launches glitter cannon*

So after you link up to show off your pretties, keep scrolling down to enter!

Hope you have an awesome weekend!

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FYI, this giveaway is open internationally, as long as you're aware that the polishes may take forever to arrive at destinations outside of North America. If you're cool with that, I'm cool with paying for the postage. :)


book review: anatomy of a misfit

This is one of those books that I picked up on a whim. I wish that I could afford to buy more full-priced books, but it doesn’t happen often. Luckily for me, though, I had a coupon, so I was able to peruse the new releases shelf at my local bookstore, which is where I found this little gem. 

 Anatomy of a Misfit

I hadn't heard much about ANATOMY OF A MISFIT and even though I rolled the dice of full-priced-book-chance, I came out a winner. Like, winning the Powerball, kind of winner. No, I'm not exaggerating. (Okay, maybe just a bit. Ha!)

As with most YAs that I've read, if the voice isn't strong, it's impossible for me to get into the story. And because I like to keep it real, I'll admit that for the first six pages or so, I was debating on whether or not I’d be able to get a refund because it just felt strange. Jerky, almost. And maybe a bit too snarky. But then it just sort of clicked, and I was sucked in for the rest of the book…which I read in one sitting.

Isn't that just the best? When a book simply DEMANDS to be read from cover to cover? Of course it is. Which is why you should read it yourself. Err...after you finish this review, that is. Ha!

Back to the voice: It’s fun, spunky, but not too sweet. In fact, if the main character, Anika Dragomir, had any more flaws, she’d have to roll around a wheely bag because otherwise, she’d be lopsided from lugging it all around in a cute messenger bag. Not that she has a messenger bag per say, but she’s a tenth grade student who cares about maintaining her position as the third most popular girl in school, so the chances are high that she wouldn't risk a double-strap backpack. Unless, of course, double-strap backpacks are where it's at nowadays. 

Note to self: Stop saying things like that. It only makes you sound like an old fogey. ARG! Why I can't stop?! Moving on. Slowly, because apparently, I'm a senior. 

The story is simple enough in concept: average girl navigates the piranha infested waters of high school, but its execution is both exquisite and excruciating. It's just so real, guys and gals. It’s raw and honest and messy and I loved the conflict around Anika's bad boy crush. Or, her version of a bad boy, anyway, which is yet another awesome thing about this book because I honestly didn't know where the plot would take me next. It was an emotional roller coaster, and my hands were up the whole time, savouring the highs and the lows. 

The supporting characters are fabulous in their own right and they elevate Anika’s experience to what I consider to be a mature level. As in, although ANATOMY is YA, it reads more like NA. Anika is quite self-aware and I don’t know of many girls her age who could say the same (see above note to self again), but nonetheless, her experiences are straight-up high-school angst-y and I just adore when an author can make me remember the extreme urgency that’s only felt when one is between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.

So if you love YA that makes you do this...

followed by a little bit of this...

then you’ve got to get yourself a copy. Like, now.

And make sure you put your name in it, as I feel extremely confident that you’ll be lending it out after you’re done. Because at the end of the day, this is one that needs to be passed around. 

I'm linking up with Heather for Book Club Friday! Head on over and discover some awesome new reads!