You’re So ‘Corny

Anything Goes Collage

Glittery, shimmery, star-dusted nails, featuring Orly’s unicorn-in-a-bottle glitter topper, Anything Goes.

Speaking of, I think this manicure looks a heck of a lot more ‘corn-ish than that very odd Frappuccino Starbucks released last month.  Mr. Finger Candy and I split one.  Or rather, I had a couple of sips, declared it fine, but deeply unnecessary and not very attractive, and then handed the rest of it over to him.  Which is pretty much what the rest of the world did, too!  Save those nutters who went out and bought 365 of them to store in their fridge until the next Unicorn Frappapocalypse.

Anything Goes Fingers 2

Getting back to this polish!  It’s super cool – the purple shimmery bits take on a raggedy, almost textured look when layered over a creme base, like this gradient manicure I created using the purple, pink and turquoise colours in Anything Goes’s fun mix of star and circle glitter.  Very ‘corny. 😉

Anything Goes Bottle

Before the Last Petal Falls

Rose Collage

Australian indie lacquer maker, Picture Polish, creates THE best scattered holos – rich, vibrant, one-coater cremes sprinkled with holographic pixie dust.  They’re beautiful polishes for use in nail art, and fantastic for everyday wear; I never get as many compliments as I do when I’m wearing one of Picture Polish’s gorgeous hues.

And do you know what makes a Picture Polish polish even better?  When it’s laying down a little free(bie) lacquer love, baby – purchased with points I amassed through Nail Polish Canada’s reward program, a nifty little thank you for, well, buying so much stuff!  NPC’s constantly updating rewards catalog always has a nice assortment of premium polishes on offer, but I jumped at the chance to grab Rose, which has been on my lacquer wish list now for quite some time.  And it’s just as beautiful as I had hoped it would be – a slightly darker version of one of my all time favourite polishes, Electric Dream.  And it may just be subliminal suggestion based on this polish’s name, but I think Rose is the exact colour of the Enchanted Rose in Beauty and the Beast – rich, plush, a beautiful floral countdown of impending doom.  You know, the usual. 😉

Rose Fingers

One Foot in Front of the Other: A Dieting Story

Footsteps 1

So a funny thing happened on my way to turning 40 – I kind of grew up.  Okay, okay, hold your horses – don’t go setting off the air raid sirens just yet; I qualified that with a “kind of.”  It’s not like I saw 40 coming and, as Corinthians would say, put away my childish things.  I did quite literally go out this afternoon and buy a pile of Lego Dimensions video game toys, so that would be a big old no on putting away the playthings.

But as it pertains to issues of weight, specifically my overabundance of it, I saw 40 coming in hard with a bullet (stroke, diabetes, heart attack, take your horrifying pick) and thought it was high time I GET MY SHIT TOGETHER.  For far too many years now my friends and family – people I have caused untold worry and concern – have been trying to gently (and sometimes not so gently) convey the message that if I do not rein in some of my more destructive lifestyle impulses, I won’t have a life to ruin at all.  And for far too many years now, I’ve been shrugging off their concerns, usually with a self-deprecating dig at myself on the way out, like it’s cool to not give a crap about yourself.

Then about three weeks out from my 40th birthday, I went to the doctor and she laid it out bare – all of my measurable vitals were total garbage, and I was dancing with the devil every second I was vertical and ventilating.

Well.

When you put it that way.

But really, when she did put it that way?  I finally sat up and took notice.

Or rather, I took notice a little earlier when my friends began planning a blow-out trip to Vegas, and I realized I’d never, ever be able to keep up with them at the slots, on the dance floor or whilst liberating a tiger from Mike Tyson’s house.  I took notice when I heard a distinctly audible “CRACK!” after sitting in a rickety old chair at a hipster donut joint.  I took notice when my 90-year-old grandmother buried my 60-year-old diabetic aunt, a bright, otherwise remarkably intelligent woman who, much like her niece, never said no to a delicious dish.  I took notice when I thought about my mother and father burying me.  And I finally took notice later on that evening when I looked over at my husband, happily snugged up in his chair, and thought about all the fun and adventures we’d never get to have because I put my love of butter before my love of us.

And that was just a level of selfishness I was unwilling to cross.  The only difference between then and way-back-then was joke time was clearly over, and I was now ready to do something about the fact that I was slowly killing myself.

You, friends, are coming into this piece at the three-month mark.  In that time I’ve significantly overhauled my/our approach to food and exercise, as in I cut way, way back on the former and actually started doing the latter.  My simple, rather hands-off approach to dieting – no fancy gimmicks, just the tortoise-like certainty that it will happen if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other – has so far netted me a loss of 30 pounds and three dress sizes.  I’m elated, but also desperately trying to maintain my chill – there’s nothing sadder than the receiver who does a victory dance two feet off the goal line, football still in hand.  Is that right?  I really don’t know sports.

I wish I could tell you that I accomplished this HELL YEAH, I’M KICKING ALL THE ASS feat via sexier means than increased exercise (or any exercise) and improved dietary choices, but the unvarnished truth is, much like this nail art business, it’s a matter of repetition (or as it’s often called, practice, practice, practice.)  In nail art, you develop your skills by doing challenging manicure after challenging manicure, until one day you’re firing off galaxy nails like you’ve been doing them your entire life.  Successful dieting operates in much the same way – you develop positive dietary and lifestyle habits simply by practicing them every single day.  Then one day you surprise the hell out of yourself by willingly choosing green grapes over potato chips, or breaking out into a run even though there’s absolutely no one chasing after you.  Brave new world.

I’ve been toying with the idea of sharing all of this with you, my dear online friends, for some time now.  What has held me back is my intense desire to not be THAT PERSON. You know THAT PERSON – they “discover” something the rest of the world has been “Well, duh”-ing forever, and promptly turn into a smug know-it-all. Nobody likes THAT PERSON.  THAT PERSON needs to maroon themselves on an island with all the other THAT PEOPLE, where they can lecture themselves silly about the merits of kale chips, acai berries and hot yoga (can you tell my dieting process doesn’t involve a whole lot of zen?  My workout playlist is nothing but angry punk rock and hardcore electronica, and my elliptical style can best be described as spastically aggressive.)

But for anyone who might be inspired by my weight loss journey (AKA “Sandra’s Guide to Not Dyin'”) I’d like to continue to offer up my successes, and inevitably my failures, in the hope that they may motivate you to make some positive changes in your life.

You know, if that’s what you want!  If everything’s hunky dory, keep on keeping on, you do you. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past three months, it’s that in order to be successful at (insert your “thing” here) you have to be the change you seek. In other words, if you’re not truly ready, you’re unlikely to succeed.  The grace comes in knowing when it’s time to put off the inevitable and fully commit, an intensely personal matter of timing that only you can choose.  Sometimes that choice is made for you, in a doctor’s office as you stare down your mortality, or later on at home when contemplating the cozy life you’ve built with your husband, but that moment will come when you decide to make a change.  And when that happens, I’d like to be here to share in YOUR successes, and those inevitable failures, too.  Because there’s safety and accountability in numbers. And without getting all mushy on you, I think we can continue doing this, together, just by putting one foot in front of the other.

Footsteps 2

 

Hieroglyphics

Hieroglyphics 1

Hieroglyphics over a dry brush papyrus mani, but without the cartouche (that’s the little oval-shaped frame that goes around proper nouns.)  This manicure spells out LOVE in hieroglyphics.  For the curious, I do not have HATE hieroglyph’d on my other hand – I’m total crap at nail art on my right hand.  Besides, I had a hard enough time with the lion symbol that stands for the letter L; trying to do a right-hand eagle for the A sound would have just about given me a stroke.  But I do like to think about the first Egyptian punk bombing around the birthplace of the pharaohs with a LOVE/HATE tattoo in hieroglyphs across his knuckles.  Badass. 😉

More Power to the Flower

Fleurs

Because those April showers have to pay off somehow, right?  And I’m pretty sure the record flooding my city has seen over the past week (in a condo apartment on high ground, I am thankfully immune) is not what that tired old expression originally contemplated.  Strength to my less fortunate neighbours, with the vehement hope that the waters finally begin to recede.  Until then, more flowers, fewer showers.

Literary Inspiration: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

HP Collage

Being one of maybe only half a dozen people in the entire world who had not yet read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the second last book of the Harry Potter series, I thought the theme of magic and fantasy in my friend Julie’s reading challenge was the perfect time to rectify this literary shortcoming.  And then, as always, I did some thematically-appropriate nails, this time a swirly, twirly, free-handed mani inspired by Felix Felicis, the good luck libation Harry wins for his extracurricular activities in Potions class (which just might include whipping up this delightful Every Flavoured Bean sudser from Dreaming Tree Soapworks.  That or, you know, accidentally flaying Malfoy alive in the girls’ toilets.)

HP Nails Again

So what did I think?  I actually found it VERY slow going.  Until things really began to take off in the final 100 pages, much of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince felt as though it was treading (Inferi-logged) water – Ron’s got lady troubles, Harry’s got friend troubles, Dumbledore’s got Horcrux troubles, Malfoy’s screwing around in the Room of Requirement and Slughorn’s being obstructionist.  Lather (with this fun soap?), rinse, repeat.

HP Soap Collage

Yet despite believing that the story could have used a bit of trimming, I ultimately find no fault with its fans for wanting to spend as much time as possible in Harry’s bewitchingly magical world.  It’s such a special place; I don’t mind treading water for that (just not that skanky lake water filled with dead bodies; damn, Rowling, things got real dark real fast! Thank goodness for that glowing green light out in the middle of the lake.  Let’s just grab this invisible chain and haul ‘er up and see what we’re dea– oh.  Holy hell, Rowling, why the nightmares?!)

May Band of Bloggers

bandofbloggers_header

May, May, May.  Welcome back ‘ol friend!  May is a turning point in the year for a lot of people.  The school year is almost over, summer is coming soon, and those mild months will still become scorchers.  The birthstone of May is the emerald, which symbolizes love and success.  This month, we’re focusing on these two things!

We all love something with all our hearts, so tell us what you love the most.  It could be the story of how you met your spouse/significant other, where you got your pet, or a nod to your parental units.

Had this prompt arrived in my inbox this time last week, I probably would have gleefully – and loudly – proclaimed COLD MEDS!!! to be my most favourite thing ever.  When you’re ill, they can be *just* the thing to get you up and on your feet (or partially hunched over and swaying, if you don’t overdo it.)  But I REALLY overdid it last weekend, optimistically snarfing down half a box of something that promised to banish my flu to the Land of Tissues and Cough Suppressant.  It, of course, did no such thing!  I just kept sneezing and coughing, sneezing and coughing.  The only difference was now?  I was LOADED.  Higher than I’ve ever been in my life, and not in a pleasant way – more in the “I can’t feel my tongue/Why are these neon fish swimming outside my window?” sort of way.  Can’t say I loved that very much, particularly as I’m now side-eyeing any and all cold meds like they’re pure poison.

But you know what I did love about my lost weekend?  The order confirmation that showed up from Sephora on Sunday morning informing me that at some point on Saturday night, I placed a not-insubstantial order for, well, a lot of shimmery blue makeup!  Items I had once placed on my wishlist as a bit of a lark (the aforementioned shimmery blue lipstick, a holographic powder palette, colour-shifting liquid metal-type eye shadow) were now speeding their way across Canada, directly into my hot (still so hot) little hands, and I had ZERO memory of having sat down and even made the order in the first place.

Sephora 1

I’ve never shopped whilst intoxicated before, so this was definitely a new one for me.  Well, there was that time just out of university that my friend and I got (let’s not mince words) tanked and then went to the mall to see a movie, only for me to get completely waylaid by a catastrophically ugly $3,000 dress in the window of a nearby shop that I apparently needed to have RIGHT THEN.  But I certainly didn’t buy that dress, nor did I sneak back in the dead of night and surreptitiously purchase it under cover of hungover darkness.  Can’t say the same about my blue makeup bonanza!

Lipstick Collage

Actually, there’s not much I can say about it at all, having apparently lost that bit of institutional shopping knowledge to the ever-shifting sands of accidental inebriation.  But unlike the $3,000 dress, I’ve got a use and a purpose for all these pie-in-the-sky goodies, and the story alone – hell, just the visual of me sitting there, eyes two tiny, watery slits, congested gob wide open, chin three inches off the keyboard – is a great one that I’m compelled to share!  My incredible weirdness is your entertainment gain!

Palette Collage 1

Ultimately, though, there was really no harm done here, and no foul either, this accidental bounty covered by some leftover birthday mad money.  I might not be chuckling quite so heartily if I had blown through actual budgeted funds, but as a one-off, I love it.  It is the thing I love the most right now. 🙂

Stila Collage

In terms of success and keeping it blog-related, have you ever participated in and/or completed a “project wax” or spring wax/perfume/makeup/scented product purge?  Have you ever bought so much product you felt the need to use it all up before you bought again?

No to all of the above, an odd little bit of responsible adulting I chalk up to a couple of different factors – an overall lack of storage space in my apartment condo and my own deep, abiding desire to NOT have my death certificate read “Crushed to death by expired Lush shit.”  So I only ever tend to have on hand that which I can and do use.

We hope you visit these Band of Bloggers blogs and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Jaybird at The Candle Enthusiast

Jessica at The Meltdown Blog

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Lauren at LoloLovesScents

Liz at Furianne

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please feel free to contact us!

Spring Scents: Another Rosegirls Haul

Rosegirls Haulage

This much-anticipated order showed up on my doorstep at pretty much the exact moment I succumbed to a (now) week-long bout of illness that has robbed me of both my sense of taste and smell, so I can’t say it’s made much of an impression on me beyond, “Hey, look at this stuff that arrived.”  Lots of stating-of-the-obvious when I’m not feeling well.

But for those still curious as to my fever-induced thoughts on these Rosegirls goodies, here they are!

RG Spring Collage

In the adorable little two-pack muffin shapes ($7.00 US), I chose Rosegirls Garden, Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Bean Noel, a blend created by my friend Julie of The Redolent Mermaid during one of Rosegirls’ last rounds of custom orders.  This was a real wildcard pick for me because I don’t generally care for floral scents, particularly rose scents, but I adore Rosegirls’ Raspberry Sauce, a super tart berry that overpowers just about everything it touches, and I’m warming up on the subject of Bath & Body Works’ ubiquitous Vanilla Bean Noel. And surprisingly, I really like this blend!  I especially like the way each of the three notes is present in equal measure, despite my belief that the Raspberry Sauce would blight any (not-the-least-bit) icky rose notes from the face of the earth.  It reminds me of a delicate, rosewater-infused pastry from a Middle Eastern bakery. Very nice, Julie!

Rosegirls Garden Raspberry Sauce Vanilla Bean Noel

The other scent I chose in the muffins was Cookie Dough, Waffle Cone and Wackadoodle (oh, those names) which smells exactly like the air in an ice cream shop – all warm sugars and unidentifiably delightful cookie smells.  It’s so delicious, I want to eat it (always a sure sign that it smells great, no?)

Cookie Dough Wackadoodle

There were a number of scents offered this go-round in half pies, but none really spoke to me, and so I satisfied myself with these smaller chunk bags instead ($10.50 for roughly 11 oz. of wax.)

Starting off with one of my favourite Rosegirls scents, I nabbed two bags of Hotline Bling, a gorgeous, parrot-hued blend of Watermelon Slush, Raspberry Sauce, Lemon Biscotti and Cotton Candy Frosting.  Sounds like a godawful mess, smells like a fruity dream! This is about as close to a punchy scent as I like to get (seeing as actual punchy scents – anything that could be described as “drink,” really – give me terrible headaches.)

Hotline Bling

Another favourite from this order is Cotton Candy Frosting Smoothie, a simple, comforting blend of Cotton Candy Frosting and Marshmallow Smoothie.  Pillowy, creamy dreamy cotton candy – sounds delicious, smells even better.

Cotton Candy Frosting Smoothie

Finally, we have the dud, because there has to be one in every order.  It’s Newton’s First Law of Wax.  The misfire would be Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, an ambitious blend of Strawberry Raspberry Guava, Mango Sorbet and Lollipops.  Being a sucker for all things Mango Sorbet, I added this guy to my cart, forgetting that that lollipop note shares quite a lot in common with the headache-inducing punch note I spoke about before.  As it’s the most prominent note in this blend, I’ll be taking a pass.  Eh, you can’t win ’em all, even if you win most of ’em. 😉

Sunshine Rainbow and Lollipops