29.5.15

the nail files: anniversary flowers


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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!**

***

When The Remix and I decided to head to Ottawa for our anniversary, I knew that I'd have to do a special mani. And since we'd just finished our May Flowers theme week, and we got married in tropical St. Lucia, I was inspired to keep the theme going.

Here's what I used:


And the mani!


To start, I did two coats of Paper Mache. Now, I have to say that since FingerPaints changed their bottles, I've suspected they altered their polish formula as well. There used to be a time where one coat could get awesome coverage, but now I'm finding that even two coats can be a bit streaky. Needless to say, it's pretty much the worst thing ever. Haha! So if you know of any other white polishes that go on streak-free, I'd love to hear about them!


Anyway, when the base coats were fully dried, I picked up a medium dotting tool and got to work, putting a differently-coloured flower on each finger. I went one nail at a time, and used a toothpick to create little lines in the middle of each petal. This was why having a completely dry base coat was so important. If the white wasn't dry, I could've scraped off the base with the toothpick.

Originally, I was going to add some leaves, to make the flowers seem more tropical-ish, but couldn't figure out where to put them, so I just added green dots for a similar effect. And then, for some sparkle, I put one clear gem in the middle of each flower, finishing it all with quick-dry top coat.


I freaking love this mani, guys. It's so fun! And the green dots work pretty well as abstract leaves. Or, at least I think they do. Haha! And dragging a toothpick through the centre of each petal really created a different look. One that was perfect for our anniversary!

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

And how about, for the month of June, we do neons? As summer is on its merry way, I thought it'd be a good way to kick it off. So the brighter your nails, the better! Haha! Of course, not every mani you link up has to have neons, but if you're in an inspiration jam, neon it up! :D

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!









27.5.15

the happypants take ottawa

Last week, to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary, The Remix and I headed out on our first vacation in over six years, to our nation's capital city: Ottawa.

Tv How I Met Your Mother animated GIF

 It'd been about eight years since we've visited, and since it's the city we started dating in, because I was going to school there, we thought it'd be a great trip down memory lane. Also, it was a far enough of a drive (about five hours) that it felt like we actually went somewhere. Haha!

To minimize my contact with stranger germs (because I'm still a sicky-face), we headed out on Tuesday, and stayed until Thursday. But in that short time, we packed in quite a bit of fun! I didn't take a lot of pictures, mostly because I'm not the best at actually remembering to take pictures, but I did take a few.

The beginning of Parliament Hill (the copper-topped buildings on the left are where all the action happens).

Our hotel was about a ten minute walk to the ByWard Market, which is where we spent the majority of our time. And with restaurants and bars galore, as well as fun shops and street performers, it was the place to be, even on a fairly un-busy weekday. 

We were a bit early for all the outdoor stands, but there was still a lot going on.

The weather was freaking perfect, with bright sunshine for most of the time we were there, so we spent the first day just wandering around. We'd both forgotten about all the cool little spaces tucked in unexpected places in the Market, like this square. *points down*


Along our stroll, we also discovered that Ottawa doesn't like skateboarders. On every surface where a railslide was possible, there were cement or iron decals. They were pretty, but it made Ottawa seem like a cranky old man, so boo-urns on that one, Ottawa. Haha!


Then we found a super cool barber shop, called House of Barons, which was filled with hip dudes and friendly vibes. It's a prohibition-style shop, so all the chairs and decor were vintage, and the exposed brick walls gave the place a really cool feel. Plus, it was one of the best haircuts that The Remix has ever had.

Whoops! I forgot the "S" on the end. It's supposed to read: House of Barons. 

 Isn't he handsome?
(This question is rhetorical, as it's quite obvious that he is.)


We met up with an East Coast Pal we haven't seen in a while, and sat outside, drinking root beer floats (or, they did, at least), soaking up the sunshine while we caught up. And then we went for a walk and found a crazy head shoppe, conveniently nestled between a tattoo parlour and a recruitment centre for the Church of Scientology. Obviously, we stopped to take a picture. Haha!


After our awesome catch-up, The Remix and I went back to the hotel to get ready for our anniversary supper. 


On our way back to the Market, we walked by this billboard and I laughed for the better part of five minutes. Well done there, Capital Hill Hotel. Haha!


We found a cute Italian restaurant with delicious wood-fired pizza (which I forgot to take a picture of), but the atmosphere left a little bit to be desired, so we moved on to a swanky bar for drinks. 


After a few of these delectable cocktails, we called it a night and headed back to the hotel. It'd been a big day for me, with all of the walking, but it was a super awesome time nonetheless. Yay!

The next day, on the drive home, we decided to take the scenic route, through Algonquin park, and on the way, we saw this photo-op by the side of the road. Apparently, it was Ontario's Highest Populated Place.


To finish off our week, we went for broke and swung by The Burger's Priest--the very best burger joint ever--for supper. I had my usual, called the Vatican City, which has two freshly-ground patties, and grilled cheese sandwiches made of hamburger buns. FYI: I patty-down, as in removing one of the patties, and I still can never finish this burger. But it's the only one that comes with grilled cheese sandwiches, which is why I still order it. Because, the only thing that can make an incredible burger more incredible, is grilled cheese sandwich buns. Haha!


So, now we're home and I won't lie; it's been a bummer to get back to real life. Haha! But I'm so happy that we were able to go away, and I hope that we can do it again in the future! 

Anniversary road trips rule!

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22.5.15

the nail files: quatrefoil tutorial


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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!**

***

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*

Haha!

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!




15.5.15

the nail files: may flowers


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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 our first theme week!

The Comeback HBO animated GIF

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!






13.5.15

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...

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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.

Sad Crying animated GIF


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



8.5.15

the nail files: julep jewels


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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!**

***

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?

*points*


*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!








6.5.15

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!


Robins!


Mourning Doves!


Finches!


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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