Friday, December 12, 2014


So I've been super busy with holiday stuff and not able to post daily as I had anticipated. :(
I have been posting daily advent photos and the odd manis and stuff on my Instagram (username=miss_tina) so you can check out the photos there (you don't need an Instagram account to view the photos, I don't think, only to comment or "like" them. I could be wrong?).

December is just wacky with lots of stuff to do so I imagine my posts will be sparse over the next few weeks. BUT in January I am planning another mani challenge!! I haven't finalized it yet but I'm thinking another Julep month? I have so many more Julep polishes that I need to use. Though I might just do an untried-polish month instead. I'm not sure. I WILL post all the details here when I do finalize it and if anyone wants to join me, I would love the company! January is kind of quiet as people settle down after the holidays, a mani challenge might be perfect. :)

Other than this, nothing new. I've haven't been writing or editing, sadly. I've been shopping but not much fun stuff for me -- mostly gifts for other people. I've been keeping sane with London Fog tea lattes and lots of deep breathing. I love Christmas, don't get me wrong, I just get somewhat overstimulated with all the sensory input (I'm super sensitive to stuff like that, my brain just processes everything at a fast/high rate so what's "normal" to you is "way too much" for me, so Christmas is just sensory overload and I don't cope well at all, lots of panic attacks and sometimes even vomiting, it's ridiculous).

I still have a few things to buy and I'm dreading it. I hate shopping on a good day, at Christmas it's quite the nightmare. Tempted to just order online and cross fingers that it gets here on time!

Ok. I think that's it. Regular posting of lovely and beautiful things to resume shortly! In the meantime, do check out my Instagram since I am posting things daily there.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Ciaté Day 1 Advent Calendar polish -- Kiss Chase

This year I'm going to try and keep up with the polishes in the Advent calendars. We'll see how it goes!

The first polish in the Ciaté 2014 Mini Mani Manor Advent calendar is called "Kiss Chase". It's a coral-leaning pink that kind of reminds me of Butter London's "Trout Pout".

December 1st means... Advent Calendars!!! YAY!

Wow! It's been forever! But I have news and goodies!

  • I finished my NaNoWriMo novel with 52,638 words in 21 days. I didn't do the full 30 days, I hit my target on November 27th. I skipped a bunch of days throughout November because of migraines but was careful to make up my word count on my active days. I finished early on purpose so I could spend this past weekend celebrating my birthday and decorating for Christmas and stuff without having to worry about word counts and such. So yeah, I wrote a novel in 21 days! I need to go back and edit/polish things -- I'll do that probably in January after the holidays. It was my first year doing NaNoWriMo and it was a blast! I've never written anything before aside from academic essays so it was kind of a big deal. I had NO PLAN at all, just one scene and 2 characters on Day 1. I just kinda watched as the characters and story unfolded in my mind and did my best to write down what I saw. The crazy thing is, the story is pretty good! It just developed naturally. I'm kind of proud of it. :)
  • I turned 42 on Saturday. How crazy is that?! It kinda sneaks up on you. Luckily I was born with good genes and don't look my age. The number itself totally doesn't bother me at all. So what if I'm 42?? I don't feel "old". Even if I did, I wouldn't care. It's all part of life. I have no desire to chase youth or be younger.
  • I have several Advent Calendars to share with you. These were the only ones I could get my hands on without going totally broke (I do have to buy gifts for other people LOL). Advents are slowly gaining momentum in Canada but not as crazy/popular as they are in the UK. Hopefully there will be even more next year!
OK. Here are my seven Advents (Ciate, colouring, DavidsTea, Hard Candy nails, Hard Candy beauty, Lindt, and the Body Shop). I will be opening/posting about the contents each day. No worries, they will be hidden so no spoilers unless you want to peek. :)

DAY 1 of each Advent after the jump (NB: The Ciate one will be shown but the mani for this polish will be in a second post!). Oh, and this is VERY picture heavy!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Julep's "Austen" with China Glaze's "Fairy Dust"

For the past 2 days it's been snowing very gently here and I was inspired to do a gentle glitter mani. I recently received Julep's "Austen" and pulled out my tried & true China Glaze "Fairy Dust" (practically essential for the holidays and into the rest of winter!).

A England - Crown Of Thistles

I'm kind of on a no-buy right now. Which is perfect because holidays are coming up, there are gifts to buy, and I'm so into NaNoWriMo right now that I don't need to waste time (& money) shopping for polish. The sad part is there are SO MANY awesome holiday collections coming out. To compromise, I let myself pick ONE bottle of polish and that's it. Nothing else until after the New Year. I might even be skipping December Julep. I'm not buying anything from their holiday sales. I DO have enough points (Jules) to get a free box so who knows.

Anyway, I actually did this mani over a week ago and meant to post it. I was going to a NaNoWriMo after-hours writing event in Chapters Indigo (chain book store in Canada for those of you who don't know) and wanted pretty nails. :) My single bottle of polish had just arrived and I wanted to give it a go!

Advent Calendars!

Okay. I figure we can start with the Advent calendars I'm going to open/post about each day in December. Canada doesn't have many to choose from (aside from the traditional chocolate ones) so I'm kinda limited here. If it was up to me, I'd buy ALL THE ADVENTS! because I think it's fun to open each day. December is pretty stressful so little treats are always fun. It gives you something to look forward to!

* Ciate Mini Manor (nail polish/nail art)
* The Body Shop (mini versions of holiday goodies)
* DavidsTea (little tins of holiday/winter/regular loose teas)
* Colouring Advent (little scenes to colour each day, yeah, I dig colouring)

* Starbucks (kinda wimpy)
* Benefit (WAY overpriced for what you get)
* L'Occitane (I will probably get this, it has 13 days though instead of 24)

Wish List (if I had a million dollars):
* LUSH (super cute but expensive for only 12 days)
* Benefit (WAY overpriced and huge price increase over last year with less actual product and more "filler" items like sticky notes and hair ties)
* Tarte (not in Canada)
* Yankee Candle (not in Canada)

Boyfriend bought himself:
* Lego Star Wars Advent (I don't judge)

Which one(s) did you get (or will be getting)??


So I've been in deep with NaNoWriMo -- I'm keeping up with the word count and trudging along. I'm discovering I'm a total "pantser" (meaning I write by the seat of my pants) vs a "plotter" (who organizes, outlines, knows their story beforehand, etc). Basically, on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo I had a scene in my head. A single scene. One character (ok, two). I had NO idea what kind of story it would be, though I had an inkling it wanted to be a fantasy/sci-fi kinda thing. I've never written before (long boring story involving deeply dysfunctional family issues). It's working out surprisingly well. My characters are just doing there thing, acting out the story and I'm doing my best to record what I'm seeing in my head. It's actually a lot of fun!

I don't have a synopsis yet or anything -- maybe later. I'm kinda shy about it, being my first story.

Anyway, I have a few things I want to post about. I've received a few boxes (November Julep Maven, Ipsy November box, Petit Vour November box, Chick Advisor Clarisonic Mia 2 for review) and I've done a whole 2 manis (but they're good ones!). I'm not sure if I'll get through all this stuff today but I'd like to get them up relatively soon.

What else? In December I'm going to have daily Advent calendar openings (with a mani)! So far I have 4 Advent Calendars: Ciate Mini Manor (I had this last year, loved it!), The Body Shop, DavidsTea, and a colouring one (yep, I dig colouring!). I might get the L'Occitane one. I considered the Benefit one but it's WAY overpriced (price increase of $30-40 from last year!) so no. Advents aren't really a big thing here in Canada so pickings are slim. I wish we had more, I totally love them!

Oh, and my birthday is coming up on the 29th. I'm hoping to have my NaNoWriMo novel finished by the 28th so I can relax and enjoy my birthday weekend without having to worry about my word count! We're also putting up the Christmas tree & decorations that weekend, can't wait!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 27: Julep's "Marla" with silver stamping

Ok, so I'm doing this post a bit early. It will be my last mani post for October. I'm cutting out early so I can get ready for NaNoWriMo which starts on Saturday. If anyone else is doing NaNo, feel free to add me as a buddy, my username is "madricka". It's my first time doing this and I'm super excited and getting very nervous as it gets closer. I'm sure that's normal. No?

For this final mani the theme is "Witchy Woman". I wanted to do something elegant and not in-your-face Halloween or scary. I selected a new polish, Julep's "Marla" and stamped silver flying witches on the ring finger. Perfect! :)

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 26: Cauldron Brew - Essie's "Belugaria"

So one of the polishes I won in the Nail Polish Canada Great Polish Giveaway 2014 is Essie's "Belugaria". In the bottle it looks like an innocent black with some large holographic glitters in it. Nope! On the nail it's a VERY thick chunky textured polish. Like the craziest I have seen. So for today's mani challenge ("Cauldron Brew"), I figured it was the perfect time to wear this polish! I also decided to mix it up and do some stamping and rhinestones on the middle finger. Crazy Halloween nails!

Want to know more about the Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge? Click here!

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 25: Warm Mittens -- stamping over Ciate's Velvet Manicure

Yes, behind again! Seriously though, I did 3 manis yesterday and I'm just drained from doing so many back-to-back mani challenges. This month has been my absolute favourite so far but I think I'm done after the 27th. I will be forfeiting the last 4 manicures of this challenge. Why? I need to get ready for NaNoWriMo. My brain is wanting to focus on that. Plus I want to get some "spring cleaning" done. I've already put all my summer stuff away and pulled out the winter stuff. But the apartment is kind of a mess. I want to do a nice big thorough cleaning before NaNoWriMo starts so I can just focus on that rather than being distracted by a messy house. Does that make sense?? So yeah, as much as I LOVE these mani challenges (obviously, I've done so many in a row!) I need time to get other stuff done. Believe it or not (I'm sure you believe it), daily manis, photo editing and blog posts are very time consuming. Letting go of the last 4 days of this month was a hard decision but I think it's ultimately the right one for me. :)

Want to know more about the Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge? Click here!

That being said, I will be posting sporadically throughout November. No mani challenges!! But I have a few products to review and it's not like I plan on rocking bare nails throughout November or anything. November is also my birthday month (the 29th), hoping to get my 50,000 words done before that so I can celebrate guilt-free! I also plan on coming up with a super awesome, crazy sparkly December mani challenge. :)

Anyway, for Day 25: Warm Mittens I thought it would be the best time to pull out my grey Ciate Velvet Manicure kit. I bought it at a discount chain store last year and haven't used it yet. I decided to go a step further and attempt stamping over it. That was kind of a fail but it's still fun to try. :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 24: Wool Socks

Ok. I think I took this one a bit literally -- wooly socks are fun! -- and the final results just make me laugh! I had a bit too much caffeine (1 piece of Awake Chocolate and 1/2 of a Diet Coke, I'm SUPER sensitive to caffeine!) and was jittery/shaking when I did this so it's kinda messy... but it's still funny!

Want to know more about the Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge?? Click here!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 23: Sweater Weather - OPI's "I Don't Give A Rotterdam"

Day 23 is "sweater weather". Of course my brain is elsewhere so while I matched this shade to a particular sweater, I didn't even think to take photos of the mani with the stupid sweater. Go figure. It wasn't super matchy anyway, more complimentary. :)

Want to know more about this mani challenge?? Click here!

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 22: Lap Blanket - Kit "From Paris With Love"

Yes, I missed yesterday and I'm a bit late today. Busy getting ready for NaNoWriMo! Yes, I will be writing a 50,000 word novel in November. Are you doing it too?? If so, add me as a buddy on the NaNoWriMo site! My username is madricka. That being said, I will not be doing any mani challenges throughout November but I'm hoping to still get the odd mani and post up and maybe a quick review or two.

In the meantime there's still another left of the Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! If you want to know more about it (or get in a bit late), click here!

For Day 22's theme "lap blanket" there is only one real lap blanket around here and it happens to be red! (yay!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 21: Teacup - OPI "My Boyfriend Scales Walls" & Julep's "Daria"

Two years ago today my Uncle Bob died. He was training for a race (Ironman) and cycling a well-known route in Penticton, BC when he hit a rock or something and went head-over-handlebars. He was wearing a helmet but broke his neck and sustained a severe head injury and died before medics could get there. He was a veterinary specialist, and a super awesome person -- the kind of person who brings light and love into everything he does, a rare quality. I'm missing him hard today. So this post is dedicated to him, Dr. Robert Mason. <3

For Day 21 of the Amazing Autumn Mani challenge, the theme is "Teacup". I have a favourite teacup (who doesn't??) and decided to tackle this challenge head-on. I was surprised at just how perfect the results are! 

Want to know more about this mani challenge?? Click here!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 20: Ear Muffs -- Zoya "Storm" & Picture Polish "Storm"

So this one was tricky because I don't actually own ear muffs. I should. It gets wicked cold here! I can never find ones I like (though browsing through images to find a pic for this post -- which I was unsuccessful -- I found a few that were super cute!). If I did have earmuffs, they would be black (duh) and not have any animal bits in them (no fur, cashmere, angora or wool). I also don't want them to look huge. I'm kinda fussy like that.

But anyway, I went with 2 different polishes called "Storm". Seriously fun there!

Want to know more about this mani challenge and maybe jump in (it's not too late!)? Click here!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 19: Plaid PJ's - Picture Polish "Shocked"

This one is pretty fun for me since I'm nearly always clad in plaid pj's when I'm at home. Yes, I ALWAYS wear pyjamas at home, all day/all night. Why? Because it's comfy! And because I have cats and who wants to get kitty fur on your "outside" clothes?? I find outside clothes too binding and jammies way more comfy so yeah, that's what I do. I hate it when I see on tv people wearing outside clothes, and even shoes, indoors. Seems strange to me. Why do you need to wear shoes in the house??

(want to know more about this mani challenge & maybe jump in?? Click here!)

Anyway, I attempted to emulate a specific pair of plaid jammie bottoms and this is how it turned out!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 18: Howling Winds - China Glaze "Dorothy Who?"

Ok. So I know today was supposed to be "dark grey" to represent "Howling Winds" but when I was swatching this shade the other day I knew it would be perfect for today's theme!

Want to know more about this mani challenge & maybe jump in?? Click here!

So yeah, the whole Wizard of Oz/howling winds/tornado/Dorothy thing was just too hard to resist. Plus this is a new polish for me and it's SO PRETTY, I was dying to try it!

Friday, October 17, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 17: Cinnamon Bun - Revlon's "Autumn Spice"

Since starting this mani challenge I've wanted to use this particular polish, it's perfect for fall! Gorgeous colour AND it's scented with autumn spices (smells like sweet cinnamon and nutmeg, yum!).

Want to know more about this mani challenge or jump in?? Click here!

Oh, and I cut all my nails back!! They were getting a bit long and uncomfy to type so I cut them shorter. They feel soooo weird!

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 16: Naptime - Ciaté's Chinchilla

Yes, this post is a day late. Yesterday was all kinds of madness. But there will be 2 posts today! Woo!

For Day 16, "nap time" (dusty blue) I selected Ciaté's "Chinchilla". This was a tricky one because I LOVE dusty blue shades and have a million of them, but wanted to use an untried polish. So this is a new one for me! :)

Want to know more about this mani challenge & maybe jump in?? Click here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 15: Corn - Cirque's "Chrysopoeia"

Halfway there! :D
This month has been soooo much fun! I absolutely love the challenges and the colours I selected!
Today's was interesting because hey, pasty pale ladies do not wear yellow very well. But it's CORN, how else to show it. Well, this ended up working out kinda nicely!

Want to know more about this mani challenge or jump on board (it's not too late!)?? Click here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 14: Wellies - Julep's "Ledi"

Day 14 already, nearly the halfway point! I'm actually really enjoying this month. I'm thinking of taking next month off from mani challenges though. I'll be up to my eyeballs in novel-writing for NaNoWriMo and won't have time for daily manis and blogging. I'm sure I'll get a few posts up but not everyday and I don't want to commit to something I really can't deliver on. December will be fun though, I'll have to come up with something holiday-themed!

As an aside, I contacted DavidsTea head office to find out when exactly the "24 Days of Tea" calendars would be released and to confirm price (since they sell out so fast). They are indeed available in-store and online on November 1st and will be $34.50 (CND). I asked if they were new teas or similar to those in previous calendars and they said it would be a new selection. So yes, get ready! I'm super excited about this!

Ok. For today's mani I went traditional with the Wellies idea and did a pearly black.

Want to know more about this mani challenge & maybe jump in?? Click here!

Monday, October 13, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 13: Ugg Boots - OPI's DS Classic

I hope all my fellow Canadians have had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. For those of you who don't know, Canada has their own Thanksgiving holiday that has nothing whatsoever to do with the US Thanksgiving holiday. It's also not nearly as big of a holiday here. It just means everyone gets a Stat Holiday today and everything is closed. :)

This one was weird because I don't own Ugg boots and never had a desire too. I think they make women look like they have stumpy legs, but that's just me. I know some people love them and I'm sure they're warm. I'm just more of a cruelty-free boot-wearer I guess.

Anyway, for today's mani there were a number of shades I considered going with but settled on OPI's DS Classic (DS stands for "Designer Series").

Want to know more about this mani challenge or to jump in? Click here!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 12: Lucky Penny - Cirque's "Stella"

I had a few ideas on how to go about this particular mani. I kinda went extreme and I'm not sure how I feel about the outcome. I'll explain more after the jump!

Want to know more about this mani challenge? Click here!

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 11: Pumpkin - Cirque's "Sanguine"

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday. Life. :/

For Day 10: Pumpkin I chose a different kind of orange. I have SO many orange polishes, though I'm not really an "orange" kind of person (pale people can't really wear warm colours, it just doesn't work). But this one changed my mind completely. I think it will change yours too!

Friday, October 10, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 10: Storm Clouds - Julep's "Stevie"

It's October and that always means rain and storms -- at least in my part of the world. It's the changing over of summer into fall and the cooler temps send the birds and butterflies south and turn the leaves a million shades of awesome. I love fall! Even the stormy days! Makes me want to cozy it up with scarves and sweaters and lattes and books. It's a nesting time and there is NOTHING I love more!

For Day 10: Storm Clouds, I chose Julep's "Stevie" -- kind of a gunmetal bluish grey metallic shade. I've had it forever, eyeballed it in the bottle, but never wore it!

(Want to know more about this mani challenge or jump in?? Click here!)

Thursday, October 09, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 9: Apple - A England's "Rose Bower"

Day 9 is "apple (red)"… yay! one more excuse to slather on some red polish! (yeah, like I need an excuse!!). I ended up going with a NEW polish (well, new to me), one from my Nail Polish Canada Polish Giveaway prize -- A England's "Rose Bower".

Want to know more about this mani challenge & maybe jump in? Click here!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 8: Grape - OPI's "A Grape Affair"

Day 8 of the Amazing Autumn Mani challenge is "grape (purple)". I have SO MANY purples I could have used but I really wanted to go with OPI's "A Grape Affair", it seemed so perfect!

(want to know more about this mani challenge, want to join in? Click here!)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 7: Wet Sidewalks - NCLA's "Rock Solid"

Day 7 already?! What?! And "wet sidewalks"… how appropriate considering it's pouring rain out at the moment! I was busy earlier and couldn't do this mani/post until now so the photos will be a bit different than my usual. I had to work with the lighting I have! I selected NCLA's "Rock Solid" because it's totally that perfect "wet sidewalk" look in my opinion. I had a good one for "wet asphalt" (NCLA's "My Dad Invented That") but it was too dark for sidewalks. :)

Want to know more about the Amazing Autumn Mani challenge (& maybe join in)?? Click here!

(evening light, pouring rain so cloudy but some light?)

Monday, October 06, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 6: Chai Latte

It's been so cold this weekend I'm thinking it's time to pack up the tank tops and pull out the sweaters. Summer seemed to fly by this year! Not that I'm complaining, I MUCH prefer fall/winter over summer. I can't tolerate the heat/humidity/sun of summer AT ALL, it just makes me feel sick. But I love cold, an excuse to bundle up and be cozy. :) I love snow (so pretty!!) -- but I'm a winter baby (my bday is Nov 29th) so that might have something to do with it!

Today's challenge is "Chai Latte". Tricky since I have never had a chai latte before! I had to look up pics to see how brown they are, lighter/darker. I guess the milk makes them lighter? I did the best I could -- at first I wasn't so sure but in the end I kinda like how it turned out!

Want to know more about this mani challenge (& maybe jump on board)?? Click here!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 5: Wine - Revlon Parfumerie Bordeaux

Yay! Day 5 of the mani challenge! Today's shade is "wine (burgundy)". I had to stretch that a bit because I was dying to use Revlon's Parfumerie in "Bordeaux" because it's wine-scented & has been an untried in my stash since I bought it last year!

Want to know more about the Amazing Autumn Mani challenge & maybe jump in?? Click here to find out more!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 4: Night Sky - Cirque's "Tibetan Nights"

Yay! All caught up now!

Day 4 is "night sky" and I HAD TO pick one from my Nail Polish Canada polish prize and go with Cirque's "Tibetan Nights", you'll understand when you see it!!

Want to know more about the October "Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge"?? Click here to find out more and start painting with us!

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 3: Acorn - Julep "Minka"

Almost caught up!

Want to know more about the "Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge" we're doing through October?? Click here to find out more!

Day 3 is "acorn" -- so many colours I could have used. For a combination of reasons, I went with a reddish brown matte polish (Julep's "Minka"). Reddish brown acorns and red squirrels! yay!

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 2: Crunchy Gold Leaf - Enchanted Polish "Autumn"

Still playing catch up!
Want to know more about the October Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge? Click here!

This was a tricky one! Do I go with gold? Like a true gold polish? That didn't feel right. I looked at some nude holos but that didn't feel like "fall" to me. I decided to go with Enchanted Polish's "Autumn" and I think it worked out perfectly! :)

October's Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge! Day 1: Moss - Cirque "Lichen"

WOW!!! I'm SOOOO behind in this month's mani challenge! Rest assured, I do have a valid reason I promise to post several manis today and be fully caught up within the next hour!
Wednesday was the 1st of October -- the day I received my prize package from Nail Polish Canada -- the unboxing took me a really long time and I ended up with a migraine and muscle spasms in my neck and trapezius muscles (I have a work-related injury from caring for a violent patient who assaulted me, I have daily chronic pain but certain things cause flare ups that take several days to resolve). I wasn't able to sleep Wednesday night -- most likely a combination of pain/spasms and excitement from the package arriving. Thursday and Friday were continuations of migraine and spasms. Today is the first day I feel "normal" (no migraine but still muscle spasms, though they are less intense). SO, today I've been playing catchup and will be posting the first 4 manis of the October "Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge!" both here and on my Instagram.

So, for the first mani of this challenge, the theme is "moss". I chose "Lichen" by Cirque and think it's absolutely perfect!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Nail Polish Canada Polish Prize -- It's Here!!

Ok, so several weeks ago I won Nail Polish Canada's Great Polish Giveaway 2014! Since then I've been waiting patiently (or trying to be as patient as possible!) for the prize package to arrive (200 polishes!!). Well, today was the day!

(videos & photos after the jump!!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 30: The End!

Today is the last day of the September Is Stamping Month mani challenge! Wow, 30 days of stamping! It was fun, frustrating, interesting, and exhausting! There is absolutely a learning curve with stamping and it does help to learn as much as you can and be patient with yourself. Has my stamping improved? In some ways it has -- I'm getting better at alignment! But in some ways it hasn't -- especially since I'm struggling to find the magic secret to my new squishy stamping heads! I think I'm getting there though. I am looking forward to a month of regular manis for October (I will still do stamping for some of them!).

Also… my Nail Polish Canada Great Polish Giveaway prize is scheduled to arrive tomorrow!!! I will not be able to sleep tonight! This is like epic Santa nail mail! Stay tuned as I am doing an unboxing video and posting pics and stuff!! <3

For my last stamped mani, I chose to repeat one of my first-ever stamping manicures from a year ago! I was determined to use the squishy stamper so that's what I did for all my nails except the ring finger (used my the small end of my Konad stamper for that nail).

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 29…

So when creating the September stamping challenge I left the last two days open for whatever the participants wanted. It's good to throw in a few free days, I think. :) I did my last 2 manis last night and it felt good to complete the challenge. I'll share one with you today and the other one tomorrow. The next mani challenge ("Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge") starts Wednesday and I'm sooo excited! (scroll to the bottom for details about this!)

For today's mani, I was inspired by my friend Mary's recent trip to California where she picked up several sugar skulls. What is a sugar skull?? You can read up about them here but as a super quick run-down… they are traditionally little (or very large!) skull candies made during the Dia de los Muertos ("Day Of The Dead") celebrations in Mexico at the end of October/beginning of November. These candies are offered to both living and dead people -- if offered to the dead they are placed upon offering alters with other favourites that the deceased person had during their life. These skulls are also crafted from other materials such as clay & ceramic, and are very elaborately decorated. They are not meant to be a morbid gesture but more of a celebration of life, love, and memory (hence why the skulls are smiling!).

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 28: Polka Dots

I'm always amazed at how quickly these months fly by! Mid-month it feels like it's never gonna end then BAM! suddenly it's over. Two more manis left in this challenge after today, they are wildcard picks so I think I'll have a bit more fun with them. Not that I didn't have fun with this mani challenge but sometimes I felt a bit stuck in terms of my stamping plates and inspiration. Does that make sense?

Want to know more about September's Stamping Challenge? Click here to find out more!

Next month's mani challenge is the "Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge" and starts on Wednesday -- I'm definitely in on this one (and sooo excited!). Lady Loves Lacquer is the host for this one so head on over to her site and take a quick peek at the "rules" and the suggested guide -- and don't forget to let her know if you are participating, we love promoting your manis too! I also have a quick run-down here. I will revisit and re-link all this stuff each day leading up to the 1st. Don't worry if you can't do every single day, you don't have to be a super go-getter to participate but please try to stick to it as much as you can. :)

But today! Today's theme is "polka dots". But I didn't want to do just straight-up dots so I picked this dot gradient image and once again, messed around with different stamper heads. Not perfect but not entirely bad.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Okay, this is TOTALLY NOT BEAUTY RELATED!!! So feel free to skip it if you want!

For all kinds of crazy reasons, I will be participating in this year's NaNoWriMo event. What the heck is that?? It's stands for "National Novel Writing Month" and has been held every November since 1999. Basically, you write an entire novel in one month (50,000 words in 30 days!). Yes, crazy. I'm sure the vast majority of people write novels but others (those "rebels") write dissertations, poetry, scripts, short stories, etc. At the end of the month, you can upload your work for official word-count purposes (no one actually reads it, at least not the officials) and if you succeeded you get a nifty "I did it!" certificate and some coupon codes for fun writer-y stuffs. This is a world-wide event and yes, it is FREE to participate! There are also tons of local NaNoWriMo groups (online and on Facebook) so you can make some friends and get some support on your work. There are meet-ups and events planned locally so explore!

SO, anyone else doing it?? I have my account set up over at NaNoWriMo if anyone wants to add me as a buddy (click here!). :)

I'm SUPER excited but also totally terrified! What will come out of my head?! I have a few ideas -- one for an X-Files 3 film script and one for a novel. Not sure which one I'll focus on for November. I'm not sure I'm going to do a mani challenge for November, I might chop off all my nails down to nubbins to make the laptop writing process easier. :)

Anyway, join me!! <3

September Is Stamping Month! Day 27: Stripes

Aww… we're in the last few days! Only 3 more manis after this. But then… the super magical and exciting "Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge" begins! (details at the end of the post!!)

So if you're late to the party and want to know what this September Is Stamping Month mani challenge was all about, click here to read up on it!

Day 27 is "stripes". I was having a hard time coming up with some interesting stripes so I decided to use a plaid stamping plate (vertical AND horizontal "stripes"). Maybe an interpretive stretch but here ya go!

Friday, September 26, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 26: Coffee + NPC prize update

Soooo… Nail Polish Canada emailed me yesterday evening to say they shipped my polish prize (all 200 polishes!). There was some delays getting things together because it's a sponsored prize and each sponsor had to send their polishes in. Anyway, it's en route and will be here on Wednesday October 1st! The package weighs 27 lbs! I will be doing a quick unboxing video when it arrives and will post it here. The list of polishes included can be found here (though there were some polishes backordered so a few were substituted with similar colours from that same brand).

The weird thing is 197 of the polishes are coming from Vancouver and will arrive Wednesday… the other 3 polishes are coming from Toronto and arrive today… so I have to resist opening the 3 polishes today, which will be hard, it's like Christmas! But I think it would be better to open it as one big package. :)

Nail Polish Canada took a photo of it all before packing it all up and they posted it on their Facebook page last night. Here it is!

Yep, kinda crazy! I'm super excited & super overwhelmed. I also have NO idea where to put these! My current storage is packed and not really practical anymore. I think I need a trip to IKEA! I'm not going with Helmers, I would need several of them and I don't have the space. I'm thinking of the tall Alex unit.
I was so excited I couldn't sleep last night & had to take extra meds (fell asleep around 2am). I'm guessing it'll be the same story on Tuesday night as well. I'm a sensitive bean!

OK, today's mani! Day 26: coffee. Once again, this totally didn't turn out the way I had it planned in my head. I want to redo it but I don't have time today. :/
If you want to know more about this stamping challenge, click here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 25: Stars

I had a fight with this mani. Trying to use my new stamping heads that everyone raves about, what am I doing wrong?? I redid this one a few times and it still looks like crap so I give up. :/ We're almost at the end of September and I'm not sure my stamping has improved much. I think I should stick to straight swatching -- I think I'm pretty good at that!

Anyway, today is "stars". I have about 600 star images but wanted to lean towards something less "busy" & more celestial.

September Is Stamping Month! Day 24: Sports

Yes, I know today is the 25th and this post is late. Yesterday I was anxiously awaiting the mail guy because I was expecting my Messy Mansion Pro Stamper set and wanted to wait to do my mani so I could use new stampers. Of course, my mail guy shows up fairly late then I had to make dinner and such. The mani didn't really happen. :/ BUT I have photos of the Messy Mansion kit in addition to my terrible football mani for today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 23: Chevron

I'm not usually a "chevron" kinda person but I found this stamping plate that had super fine lines, which I love. It's cool but almost migraine-aura-like (that part isn't cool!).

(Wait! what's this mani challenge all about?! click here to find out more!)

Amazing Autumn Mani Challenge -- Coming up for October!

I like giving a heads-up for the next mani challenge. This next one is really great and I am SO excited! Saphron Jenene over at She Loves Lacquer is graciously hosting this next mani challenge. We collaborated, sharing ideas about colours/themes/names -- and I think the final product is something really fun for October!

Here is the breakdown of October (details to follow after the jump):

Monday, September 22, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 22: French Tip

Ok, so now I'm all caught up! Whew!
Day 22: French Tip. SO many ways this could be done. I wanted to go with something semi-traditional just because it's a look I never do.

Want to know more about this mani challenge?? Click here!

September Is Stamping Month! Day 21: Movie

There were SO many things I could do for a movie-themed mani! I ended up going with James Bond because I have a Vivid Lacquer plate I've been eager to use forever.

Want to know more about this mani challenge? Click here!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 20: Scary

Okay, so this post is for Buffy (The Vampire Slayer) fans and even more for Anya fans. If you haven't watched the show, you probably should because it's AWESOME! But to understand this post, you can read the Wiki post here or just know that Anya is a demon who is terrified of bunnies. :)

So I went with pink nails and white bunnies for my Day 20/"Scary" mani. :)
(Want to know more about this challenge? Click here)

September Is Stamping Month! Day 19: Space/aliens

Still playing catch-up for my mani posts, I will try to finish posting Days 19-21 today. The manis are done/photographed, I just need to write up the posts. I have a migraine though, we'll see what I can do!

Day 19 is "space/aliens". *woo*
(want to know more about this mani challenge? click here!)