Fall Fun Series II: Can You Keep a Secret?

Kissing Pictures are Tacky

I hope you can, because I certainly can’t – I *had* thought about keeping this one totally to myself, but I’m too excited not to spill!  Also, I offer this up in explanation of where this week’s Halloween-centric Fall Fun Series is not.  As in I don’t have any cool Halloween plans to share with you this week, although I certainly will next week, because we’re goin’ to Disney!!!  To celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary, actually, which falls on the 31st itself.  We will mark that particular milestone by (hopefully!) riding the Haunted Mansion 13 times in a row – one of those lifetime bucket list items I can’t wait to cross off the list!  I’m really looking forward to sharing the fun with you next week. 🙂  Until then, happy Halloween from these two nerds.

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Spidey Sense

Black Widow Bottle

This cool polish, Lilypad Lacquer’s Rainbows in Space, looks like two totally different polishes depending on whether it’s in the sun or the shade.  Under direct light, its bronze micro-shimmer gives it a rich, almost chocolate brown hue, whereas in the shade, it’s a dusky charcoal grey.

Black Widow 1

Black Widow 3

And the perfect palette on which to display these silver nail charms from Daily Charme.  It’s a little bit of Black Widow mixed with a little bit of Brown Recluse, and it’s Halloween mani perfection.

So Boo-tyful

brains-boo-ty-bottle

As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Or if the last photos you took of a nail polish are better than anything you could take today, use them again.  I think the first one is a little more concise, don’t you?

This is Painted Polish’s Brains & Boo-ty, a Halloween polish I received last Christmas and first swatched in the new year.  As its time with me has always been just a tiny little bit out of seasonal step with its intended holiday, I thought it would fun to revisit this Halloween glitter bomb during the actual spooktacular season.  Except the photos I took in the winter still look pretty great.  It seemed a shame not to reuse them…and so I did!  Gotta recycle where you can; we all need to do our part to fight climate change. :/

brains-boo-ty-fingers-shade

Brains & Boo-ty was released some years ago; as such, it’s unfortunately no longer available from any of the usual stocklist suspects, although Harlow & Co. carry a number of other Painted Polish glitters that look like Brains & Boo-ty in composition, if not in colour (love these perfect Halloweenie hues.)  And hey look, so glittery all up close – it’s kind of hypnotizing, like a Halloween disco ball.

brains-boo-ty-macro

 

Nightmare in My Diningroom

Nightmare Collage

With Halloween – and my 13th wedding anniversary! – fast approaching, I thought it was time to show you the anniversary present my husband and I gave to ourselves, from ourselves.  And as it turns out, ourselves has great taste in anniversary gifts!

Halloween 4

This is a fully functioning Nightmare Before Christmas cuckoo clock we purchased from The Bradford Exchange, an online collectibles dealer based out of Canada.  Bradford have a number of fantastic Nightmare Before Christmas collectibles, including a Christmas Town clock that has me seriously contemplating the utility of two chiming cuckoo clocks in an 850-square-foot space, but it’s this Halloween Town beauty that really captured my heart.  I love the dusky, heathered jewel tones of the clock (the grapey purples, the rusty oranges, the blackened turquoises) and despite my mother’s polite protestations (“Are you really sure you want this hanging in the diningroom where everyone who goes anywhere in your house can see it?”) I did indeed want it hanging in the diningroom where everyone who goes anywhere in my house can see it, because I love it!  Love the way Zero pops out of the little door at the top, love the vaguely rusty snippet of “This is Halloween” that cranks out at the top of every hour, love Boogie’s crew hanging off the acorns at the bottom.  It’s the perfect anniversary gift for our lucky 13th.

nbc-collage

Plus it also looks pretty darn fabulous with our Nightmare Before Christmas snow globe, a delightful wedding gift from friends that lives year-round on our sideboard, which you can see from this photo is totally crooked.  The sideboard, that is.  Or maybe the floor, or the chair rail molding, or, most likely, some horrid combination of all three.  It’s a Nightmare Before Leveling!

Halloween 1

The ceramic Jack-o-Lantern bags and spooky candelabras are strictly seasonal, although you can be forgiven for thinking otherwise, particularly when we’ve got paintings like these hanging on one wall year-round.  Mr. Finger Candy gave me these little wooden plaques one year as a birthday gift – they were painted by artist Kristin Tercek, although I think there’s a good deal of Burtonian inspiration at work here.  You can also add these paintings to the list of things my mom hates about our diningroom!  Oh man, she really hates them (said with a good natured, yet malevolent, sort of glee.)  I, of course, think they’re adorably messed up – my favourite is melancholy sushi girl.  I love her ebi bonnet.

Halloween 5

That also pretty well encompasses the totality of my Halloween decorating for this year, if you can call decorating just leaving out the things you already have (or have recently procured.)  I typically set up MY Halloween Town – once again, in the diningroom – but I had to put it in temporary storage that is not quite so accessible at the moment.  So in lieu of dealing with that insanity, I thought I’d go small and simple this year.

But I’ll always, always show off this manicure, because it remains one of the best ones I’ve ever done.  Everything works in this design; I’ve never done an update because there is nothing to update – it was perfect the first time around. 🙂

Nightmare Great Hand

One Determined Kitty: A Dieting Story

HK Collage

A friend recently commented, quite sweetly, that she was inspired by the determination with which I’ve thrown myself into my weight loss and exercise goals (this on the heels of my admission that I had pre-gamed my Thanksgiving dinner by taking a big, long swim the morning-of.  And actually, the really nutso part of that story, which I did not share with my friend because it made me sound (rightfully) bonkers, was that the pool heater had been out for repairs for about a week at that point, and so the temperature of the water was *maybe* 30 degrees?  Above zero, that is.  By the time I got out an hour later, I had lost most of the feeling in my left foot.  Now, tell me, is that determination or just insanity?) 😉

Anyhow, her sentiment was so lovely and made me feel like a million bucks – moi, determined, inspiring?  Why, thank you!  But also in the back of my head I was sarcastically thinking, “Bull-SHIT!” because those are both adjectives not typically used to describe yours truly.  I am the person you come to when you want to discuss the costuming of cats or Tim Burton’s use of mid-century suburban architecture or exactly how much Nickelback sucks (lots!)  But determined, inspiring?  Surely only if we’re talking determined to sit on my butt for as long as possible, potentially inspiring YOU to get off yours.

But as you know, my life has undergone a bit of a sea change in the last year – gone are the days of epic sittin’-around, as well as chips-for-11-pm-dinner and butter as a garnish.  Those bad habits have been replaced with daily exercise and mostly sensible nutrition, and for it I’ve been rewarded, as of this post, with a 70-pound weight loss, as well as a whole host of other fantastic, no-BS health bonuses (as in they actually happen if you put in the effort) such as increased energy, brighter, clearer skin, and a general (and much-needed) improvement in mood and attitude.  And no humblebragging (just outright bragging!) but I suppose those really are things to find inspiring, because yes, they took a tremendous amount of determination to achieve.

But it’s been hard.  It’s been really, really hard.  So far I haven’t harped too much on the drawbacks of sensible nutrition and increased exercise (the former being boring and the latter being both boring AND painful) because to date, I’ve been enjoying the positives far more than the negatives.  But my weight loss efforts have plateaued recently, despite my better attempts to switch things up and course correct, and I’m finding treading water – sometimes literally, provided the pool is warm enough – to be a frustrating chore.  I know one day the scale will budge; until then, I’m choosing to concentrate on the positive tangibles – that I’m nearly down another dress size, that I don’t get immediately winded climbing any more than five steps at a time, that I might actually be developing something approaching defined biceps?  The mind, it boggles!  I can also now once again do the splits (right leg forward only, but I was always crap on my left) and lay flat on the floor with my legs out to either side in a forward split.  I’ve recently even begun adding a bit of cool-down ballet barre work to my routine – nothing works the old thighs like a mess of plies, tendus and arabesques.  Tap is also fantastic cardio, although your neighbours WILL look at you as though you’re bonkers if they walk into the gym to find you really, ahem, Puttin’ On the Ritz.

But no matter where the scale is steadfastly hovering, all of the above is made easier when I look cute and feel great – somewhat non-natural states when you’re getting all red-faced and sweaty on an elliptical machine at seven in the morning, true, but nice clothes do make a difference.  A massive difference when you realize you’re now swimming in one of your favourite pairs of leggings, and a slightly smaller – though no less important – difference when you catch a glimpse of your toned legs in your new camo workout pants and vacuously, yet proudly, think to yourself, “Damn, dat ass!”  And sometimes – oftentimes – that’s enough of a boost to put some steam in your treadmill steps for many, many more workouts and self-doubts to come.  Clothes make the person and all that.

HK Workout Wear 1

Although what does it say about a person when she willingly garbs her 40-year-old bod in licensed Hello Kitty wear?  That she sees herself getting stylishly svelte in Sanrio-sanctioned spandex?  Based on that last sentence, it might say she has a problem with alliteration, but otherwise, I see no wrong here.  Whatever tickles your fancy, and if your fancy is telling you to work out whilst covered in baby pink bows, who are you to deny it?  I clearly didn’t deny MY fancy, which is how I wound up with this stupendously cute Hello Kitty workout set from Torrid.  I buy all my workout clothes from Torrid – they’re a plus size retailer (an offshoot of Hot Topic, actually, hence all the goth-type branded merch and stacks of Manic Panic.)  I’ve had a ton of stylish success with Torrid’s gear – everything fits to standard measurements, the pieces are all well constructed and feature moisture-wicking materials and reinforced seams, and as a nice little bonus, everything is available in dozens of cool styles and patterns (strappy camo, racerback galaxy print, cut-out neons, as well as tons of not-so-basic black.)  It is workout wear manna for the chubby girl set, and as stated, it has made ALL the difference.  Because if I’ve got to walk in place for half an hour with nothing more to do than listen to Weird Al and stare at my own legs in the mirror as they shush back and forth, I might as well be looking at something adorable.

HK Bra Collage

And since I also spend quite a bit of time on the treadmill with my hands up around my phone as I delete what seems like endless reams of photos (dangerous little bit of multi-tasking there, deleting photos whilst nearly breaking out into a run) it also helps if my fhalanges are looking their finest.  For these very Kitty-esque nails, I topped Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s Tutu Sweet with two basic plastic bow charms that I outlined in black polish for a starkly framed, comic book-type of look.

HK Bow Nails

Now back to the gym, this time lookin’ Hello fine. 😉

Fall Fun Series II: Exsquashted

Exsquashted Main

Perhaps it’s because every single pumpkin fragrance gives me wretched headaches (even those I previously had no problem with) but I am not feeling the pumpkin love this autumn.  Typically I’m drowning in all manner of pumpkin spice-scented candles and bath and beauty products, not to mention a boatload of pumpkin spice lattes, but this year?  Precious few pumpkins.

First, it seems that my body’s aversion to pumpkin scents (if not my sense of smell, because I really do like them) is not vendor-specific.  These pumpkin-based scents from Super Tarts give me just as bad a headache as any other wax I’ve encountered this year.  Unfortunate, as they’re pretty yummy fragrances, all (Elm Street, a maybe-too-bready blend of pumpkin creme brulee, toasted marshmallow and sweet cornbread, Psycho, a tart, slightly spicy blend of warm pumpkin bread, sweet raspberries and spiced sour cream cake, Addam’s Family, a rich blend of salted caramel, pie crust and pumpkin cupcakes and 28 Days Later, a sweet bakery blend featuring Blueberry Pumpkin Patch, cake batter, vanilla ice cream and cranberry preserves.)

Pumpkin Basket

Here’s my Yankee kitty, Sophie, holding a couple of cubes of Elm Street over her pumpkin cauldron.  I’ve never cared for the Elm Street movies (undead child molester – uh, neat?) but I always thought Freddy had style, and so does this slashed-up, two-toned tart (red and dark brown stripes, of course.)

Sophie the Cat

Finally, here’s a beer my husband grabbed yesterday on a run out to the grocery store – local Ottawa brewery Big Rig‘s Tales From the Patch, a spiced pumpkin porter.  And what precisely is a spiced pumpkin porter, you may be asking?  Well, an alcoholic beverage I can’t quite wrap my head around, for one.  Spiced pumpkin beer soda.  Creamy pumpkin soda beer.  Carbonated pumpkin beer drink.  You know, I’m not really doing Big Rig or Tales From the Patch any favours here with my not-so-descriptive abilities, but I actually am underselling this one – it’s not that offensive, with the flavours all coming at you in separate, but equal, measures.  Also, the can glows in the dark!  Ooh, shiny! *runs away in distracted glee*

Beer Collage