Fall Fun Fridays: Favourite Autumn Polishes

Fall Polish Collage 1

This Friday’s theme in the little blogging collaboration I’ve been doing with my friends Jay of The Scented Library and Julie of The Redolent Mermaid is one near and dear to my lacquer-loving heart – those beauty items, accessories or fashionable finds that only see the light of day come Fall.  Living in a place that sees its predominately cool-to-frigid weather interrupted only by bursts of sweaty summer humidity, I have an absolute ton of cold weather-only clothing – my closet is a veritable tribute to black sweaters and many, many fingerless mittens.  So nothing too special there.

I do, however, have quite a few autumn-only nail polishes.  I suppose it’s a little weird to segregate your beauty items into seasonal appropriateness, but here we are (hey, those “Find Your Colours!” makeup-matching programs that were so popular in the ’80s – I was just talking about this with a friend the other day! – made an entire industry out of it.)  Here’s my pick for my favourite mostly Fall polishes. 😉

Leaf of Faith – KB Shimmer

Leaf of Faith Collage

Straight up cranberry jelly, right, extra lumpy? 😉  I used this polish years ago to create one of my all time favourite manicures – cranberry sauce from the can, still in a solid log and bearing its all-important rings.  This is a staple on Canadian Thanksgiving tables, FYI.  The television show Corner Gas had an entire episode about Brett Butt’s quest for a solid log of ringed cranberry jelly; his holiday meal could NOT begin without it!

Road to Awe – ILNP (I Love Nail Polish)

Road to Awe Collage

Dusky Halloween purples tinged with the barest hint of autumn’s crunchy golden leaves.

Brains & Boo-ty – Painted Polish

Brains & Boo-ty Collage

Halloween in a bottle!  Beware, though, this polish is an absolute beast to remove; just snaggy glitter for days.

Lava – Sally Hansen Lustre Shine

Lava Collage

This gorgeous, tequila sunrise-hued polish is one of the oldest in my collection.  It is so, so flattering; I think it looks just like a maple leaf on the cusp of its big yellow-to-red colour change.

What are your favourite Fall-onlys, friends?  Anything I really ought to be adding to my collection?  Please do hit me up, and a wonderful weekend to you all. 🙂

Fall Polish Collage 2

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Disney Girl Challenge: Oh Look, Another Glorious Morning

Hocus Pocus Collage 2

…Makes me sick!  As Winifred Sanderson of Hocus Pocus might say, here represented in tiny lacquered form alongside her witchy sisters, toady Mary and nitwit Sarah.

I am a late, late convert to the Cult of Hocus Pocus, much to the chagrin of a number of friends (hi, Jessica!) who swore up and down that I’d absolutely adore it.  Except the first time I really sat down and attempted to watch it early last Fall, I couldn’t; it was goofy, shrill and shrieky in a way that just doesn’t ring my chimes.

Then we went to Disney World to celebrate our Halloween anniversary, and that’s where we both fell in love with Hocus Pocus.  At this time of year ’round the parks, particularly the Magic Kingdom, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the reach of this movie.  Disney has leaned into their also-also ran Halloween hit (the first being The Nightmare Before Christmas) in a big, big way, creating an entire stage show – the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – around Winnie, Mary and Sarah Sanderson, complete with a raucous, audience-“hypnotizing” version of I’ve Put a Spell on You.  It probably doesn’t need to be said that there’s also an absolute ton of merchandise available.

C6

The thing that nabbed us, though, was a 24-hour Hocus Pocus marathon that ran on Halloween itself.  It was one of those things we just sort of absorbed via exhausted osmosis – too tired to even reach a hand over to change the channel on the remote, we lay there, collapsed on our beds, and gave ourselves over to the Sandersons.  Compounding our confusion somewhat was the fact that over that weekend, we were seldom in our room, out pounding the theme park pavement from dusk till dawn instead.  So we’d return to our resort room just in time to catch wildly out-of-order snippets of fake cops, dead man’s chungs, flattened cats, the chocolate-covered finger of a man named Clark and mortal busboys.  Having never seen the movie from start to finish, it was a complete mindf**k, like wandering into somebody else’s Hocus Pocus-tinged acid trip.  It was really so much more engaging – if not utterly confusing – that way!

And so after that, Hocus Pocus just became one of “those movies” – a film you love more because of the events that happened around it, and less because of the actual movie itself (which, over many repeated viewings – linear ones, too! – has really endeared itself to me.)  On our most recent Labour Day trip, the “too exhausted to change the channel” pick was Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (a nearly necessary bit of gratuitous violence and snarky Justin Long to balance out the relentlessly saccharine sweetness of a day spent at the Magic Kingdom; I love the place, but Disney truly has precious little edge.)  Pretty sure we’ve watched it a dozen times since returning home, because it conjures up sweet, pleasantly exhausted memories of our great trip.

Hocus Pocus Collage 3

Just like Hocus Pocus!  You guys already know that when I really like something, I put it on my nails, and the Sandersons have proven to be no exception.  I’ve also added these manicures to my casual, year-to-year Disney Girl Challenge, wherein I attempt to do a manicure for every Disney character bearing two X chromosomes.  In hindsight, I probably should have added Dani and Allison to the list, but I thought I’d start with the main draws.  Besides, do the Sandersons look like reasonable women who like to share?  No, not particularly!  But I’m sharing, because I’m not a witch…or am I? 😉

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

Fall Fun Series II: Fashionably Whiffing It

Fall Fun Series II Photo

There’s at least one posting prompt I whiff every year in whatever blogging challenge I’m participating in at the time, and it looks as though 2017’s will be today’s theme of fashion in the Fall Fun Series.  I’m just not a very fashionable person.  Oh, I can turn it on – and out – when the occasion arises, but I’m a real jeans and t-shirt kind of lady, and I’ve got zero problems if those jeans and t-shirts come from Target.  Or Torrid, because I apparently have the fashion sense of a 13-year-old girl.

More than that, though, this year in particular, as I continue down this path of increased exercise, weight loss and general health betterment, I’ve found that I can barely keep a handle on my sizing from week to week, let alone season to season.  On average, I’ve dropped about five sizes in seven months, but there are aggravating outfit outliers (among them the American-made swing dress I purchased for a special Halloween event, only to heartbreakingly discover that I could lose another 50 pounds and still not fit into the damn thing.)  Clothing sizes are a giant crap shoot under the very best of circumstances; when you factor in weight loss that drops your boobs two cup sizes in a month while your tummy resolutely remains the size and shape of the Pillsbury Doughboy’s, you question the utility of trying to maintain a nice wardrobe in the midst of such bodily chaos.

Well, okay, I may have something to show you, an ensemble I sport when I want to take awkward arabesque gym selfies – neon accessories (shoes, iPhone case blocking out my face) and my favourite black and white (and red, and grey, and blue) striped leggings.  I think they look like Tim Burton workout wear (hmm, interesting collaboration possibility there.)  I spend time down in my building’s gym every day, and I at least attempt to look cute while I’m there (admittedly difficult when you’re sweating like some sort of livestock.)

Gym Selfie

Anyhow, for those two reasons, I have no (real) Fall fashion to share with you today.  No fashion for me, so NO FASHION FOR YOU!  But my fellow blogger friends will undoubtedly have some fun looks to show you; please do check out their posts by clicking on the links below. 🙂

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Angela at Angela Kay

Jay at The Candle Enthusiast

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Michelle at Melting With Michelle

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy (although I clearly have nothing to say on this subject!)

Fall Fun Series II: Pinspiration

Fall Inspiration Board

Good morning, friends!  This Saturday’s prompt in the Fall Fun Series is to compose an inspiration board, a pictogram, a collage or even a simple list of the things that make our hearts sing every autumn.  For me, that means a heck of a lot of gazing at leaves, assembling my Halloween Town, wrestling my cat into goofy costumes and celebrating my wedding anniversary, among many other lovely autumnal things.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the Fall delights that always inspire my soul at this time of year.

Cats in Costumes Collage

Cats in costumes!  Here we have the Weeger as Eeyore, a bee, a centipede and a mylar shark, and our dear, late kitty Porky as Pooh Bear and a deadly little Mewback.  Porky was always deeply intolerant of the five to 10 minutes we would spend every year wrestling her into her costume and then chasing her around the apartment with a camera, but Weegie takes it with some degree of good measure (so long as we lavish her with soft food the second she’s wriggled out of whatever tummy-constricting costume we’ve managed to wrap around her pudge in the first place.)  We don’t have kids; please don’t judge!

Leaf Collage Again

Leaves!  Right outside my door, lining the Ottawa River, or out in the country, edging the highway, or up the Gatineau, where I go with my parents every year to tend my grandparents’ graves.  I’m so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a bounty of leafy beauty every year, it almost makes up for the following six months of snow and ice.  Almost.

stranger-manis-collage

Stranger Things!  The second season starts on October 27th, and I shall be indisposed until such time as I have finished watching it.  I really don’t like binge-watching things – loved parsing out the first season episodes bit by wonderful bit, actually – but I don’t believe any of us will be afforded the luxury of remaining spoiler-free this time around. It’s the best show I’ve ever seen (sorry, Buff) and I am so. unbelievably. excited!  A very dope anniversary present from our Netflix overlords.

Wedding Photo 1

Yes, a fine anniversary present indeed for these two (young, so young!) goobers, who are celebrating their lucky 13th.  My gosh, we are just babies in this photo (but dang if my boobs don’t look SLAMMIN’; bless you, corset gods.)

Halloween Town

My Halloween Town!  A rather large operation that sprawls across my moss-covered diningroom table every Fall.  I had briefly toyed with the idea of letting the town go fallow for the year – setting it up and lugging it out of storage is a major, major pain – but I know I’ll cave in the end.  Gotta let the residents of my spooky little town vent their haunts for the year, yes?

Scary Movie Collage

Scary movies and TV shows.  Although I must note that I haven’t possessed the stomach or temperament for major (or even minor) gore in a long, long time.  Nostalgic picks like the deeply silly Friday the 13th series or my favourite terrible horror movie, Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, are about as wild as I get now, and I’m perfectly content with that. Bring on the G and PG-rated spooks!

NBC Fall

Like The Nightmare Before Christmas, a charmingly creepy little stop motion movie that has a place in my heart and home year-round.  I spoke at some length last year about our snow globe, a wonderful wedding gift from friends.  This year we were fortunate enough to find another gorgeous collectible, an anniversary gift to ourselves that I will be positively gagging to share with you just as soon as it’s mounted to the wall!

Wax Header

And, of course, we can’t forget all the delicious smelly things that will be sweetly scenting my home this autumn.  This is a photo of last year’s bounty (with the exception of the scoopable, a pancakes-and-campfire scent, I melted through all of this and then some.) Looking forward to more cozy scents this year.  To the Fall!

Fall Fun Series II: The Beginning

Fall Fun Series II Photo

Hello friends, and welcome to year two of the Fall Fun Series!  This year we’re kicking things off with a 15-question Fall tag as a bit of a getting-to-know-you (getting to know all about you!)  All you need to know about me is that I proposed the title Fall Fun Series II: The Revenge: This Time It’s Personal: In 3D! and no one took me seriously.  So All About Autumn it is!  Now onto the questions.

Have you ever participated in a Fall blogging series?  What are you most looking forward to this Fall?

Yes, I have, last year with the Fall Fun Series: Original Sauce.  And it was fun enough that I signed up to do it again this year!  And this Fall, I’m looking forward to celebrating my 13th wedding anniversary with this handsome fella. 🙂

us-wedding-1

Crisp Fall mornings or cozy Fall nights?

Fall nights, although there’s always a zen-like calm that steals over me when I’m out in the still, slightly foggy morning air.  But Fall nights are the best.  I love leaving the windows open so I can smell my neighbours’ fires and the crunchy leaves that pile up in drifts beneath the windows.

When do you start decorating for Fall?

I actually don’t have many Fall decorations, as all of my autumn decorating power is tied up in my rather elaborate Halloween Town.  But I recently purchased some adorable pumpkin pieces and a few other autumnal accoutrements with a view to blogging – once they’ve fulfilled that purpose, I think they’ll look pretty fantastic decorating my diningroom.

What is your favourite store to visit for Fall goodies?  Share the link!

Always Marie Antoinette in Ottawa, Ontario.  It’s the most beautifully decorated and stocked store I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

If you had to get one Fall-themed image tattooed on your body, what would it be? For extra points, where?

An elaborate, full colour Nightmare Before Christmas sleeve on my right arm.

Did you trick-or-treat when you were younger?  What was the last costume you wore? What’s your dream costume, whether you actually got to wear it or not?

I always trick-or-treated!  Wasn’t even a question of whether I would (not even the year it poured rain and my mom had pneumonia and my dad was on a business trip and my uncle took me around our 1,500-person village as I dashed in and out of his pickup truck.)

I can’t remember the last costume I wore (I’m ashamed to even think it was a pretty lackluster goth girl ensemble) but my dream costume is Snow White.  So thankfully I’ve checked that one off the old Halloween bucket list.  I’m 20 in this photo – just a wee lass. 🙂

Snow White

Best treat to get in your trick-or-treat bag?  Worse treat to get?

I think the popular answer will be full size chocolate bars, which were indeed quite lovely.  But not having much of a sweet tooth, I preferred bags of chips, which I’d hand off to my parents so they didn’t get crushed to smithereens by the other goodies in my pillow case (oh yeah, I was a pillow case kid, and I’d FILL that mother!) I really dislike licorice, so I’ll say licorice anything is the worst.

Favourite Fall home fragrance?

This is a terrible thing to admit for someone who dabbles moderately to extensively in wax and fragrance blogging, but I don’t have one.  I actually found out last year via the Fall Fun Series that I really don’t care for any of Fall’s traditional scents, particularly pumpkin, which has an unfortunate tendency to give me nasty headaches.

Best body care fragrance for Fall?

Holy cats, it’s this scrumptious scent, Bath and Body Works’ Salted Caramel Apricot. Mmm, this fragrance is great – fruity and warm and rich without being cloying.  I like it very much, wish it came in wax as well.

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket

Must-have nail polish/perfume/makeup for the Fall?

Leaf of Faith from KB Shimmer – it’s autumn’s leaves and pumpkins and cranberry sauce all wrapped up in one bottle.  One of my favourite nail polishes, no matter the season.

KB Shimmer's Be-Leaf: Cranberry Jelly

Favourite Fall month?

September.  The temperatures are just beginning to cool off, the leaves are just starting to fall and everything looks sort of sparkly.  It’s such a fantastic time of year; I wish we could have year-round autumn.

What’s the weather like where you live?

Weather Collage

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

I was pretty ride-or-die for pumpkin spice lattes there for a while, but I’ve lost my taste for them as I’ve gotten older.  They make my teeth feel furry!

Favourite Thanksgiving food?

Gravy.  I’d eat cardboard if it was smothered in delicious pan gravy.

Briefly describe your idea of the perfect Fall day.

Well, to bastardize a line from the movie Miss Congeniality, I’ll say October 3rd, because it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold – you just need a light jacket! 😉

This year the blogs participating in the Fall Fun Series will be posting every Saturday from now until the end of November.  Please join us as we decorate our homes, talk about our favourite scents, venture about on cool outings and plan for Halloween.

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Angela at Angela Kay

Jay at The Candle Enthusiast

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Michelle at Melting With Michelle

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

August Band of Bloggers

Band of Bloggers Photo

Pop quiz, hotshot: How well do you know your favourite Band of Bloggerette? Sure, we’re all reasonably up to date on each other’s interests, hobbies and the pretty, glittery things that make our hearts go pitter pat, but when it comes to the vitally important markers of a person’s character – favourite band, desert island scent, fight stance in the zombie apocalypse – how well do we truly know our virtual neighbours? 🙂 Let’s delve into 10 deeply random questions and find out, shall we?

1. No really, zombie apocalypse survival strategy: Fight or flight?

I always enjoy the assumption that in the event of such an unlikely scenario playing out, we all instantly turn into master marksman crack shots with nothing but pure ice water running through our veins.  I think the most likely course of action, in a world in which zombies are up and lumbering about, would be to tuck myself into the very furthest corner of a closet and just quietly go insane.  Then my cat will eat me.

2. You’ve been a bad, bad kitty and you have just one final meal coming your way. What’s on your plate?

My mom will be delighted to know that just about everything on my final meal menu is one of her delicious creations.  To start, bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes and lots of garlic.  Bit of Romano cheese on top.  Starter flute of Kir Royale.  Obscenely garlicky Caesar salad, made with raw egg yolks.  Spaghettini Amatraciana (tomatoes, bacon, white wine, more garlic) with a side of fried chicken.  Another Kir Royale.  Big slice of mom’s apple pie, maybe two.  Coffee, strong, black and sugared.  Goin’ out in simple, delicious style with this one.

3. Aside from wax (or nail polish, or crafting supplies, or beauty products) what item do you have major multiples of?

Life in a condominium apartment presents certain storage challenges, the main challenge being there is none.  So cleaning house, in the literal and figurative senses, has been a casual ongoing project of mine for some years now.  As such, I have very few multiples of anything.  But at one point three or so years ago, I had five nearly identical, horizontally-striped, A-line t-shirt dresses hanging in my closet.  So comfortable!  I use the pilled, stretched-out guys today as swim cover-ups.

4. You’ve just won the lottery. Before best friends you didn’t even know you had begin to show up on your doorstep, what’s the first thing you buy without even thinking twice?

That gigantic Disney vacation I’m always going on about, just with a completely blind eye to money.  As in it will be no object.  First class plane tickets so we don’t get tased and thrown off our flight.  The best rooms in the most top-of-the-line resorts.  Reservations at Club 33, Disney’s not-so-secret supper club.  A night’s stay in Cinderella’s castle suite.  Fifty grand to close down the Haunted Mansion for three hours so we can ride it 13 times in a row solo.  And a couple of bucks to throw at Gaston after he massages my aching shoulders.  Gotta put those muscles – every last inch of them covered with hair – to good use. 😉

5. Biggest celebrity crush? This can be anybody – an actress, a musician, a fictional character from a favourite movie, book or television show, or maybe even an historical figure.

I tend to like ’em dirty and deranged – Edward Norton as Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, Keith Flint of The Prodigy and, most recently, Jon Hamm in Baby Driver.  But at the moment, quite contrary to my usual crush type, it’s Keegan-Michael Key.  I just think he’s so handsome.  Great eyes, kind, open face.  Very little trace of the dirtbag.  I feel like Buffy dating Riley – something’s just a bit off, and it might be the absence of scuzzbucket.

6. Flats or heels? Or are you running barefoot through life like some sort of hippie?

Flats these days (especially when they’re as cute as the adorable ice cream slip-ons below.)  But a decade or so ago, heels all the time, and none of this wedge platform malarkey either – bona fide stilettos, and the more impractical, the better.  I have this one pair of Ralph Lauren sandals that are naught but two flimsy bands of satin wrapped around a razor thin heel.  They retailed for $475 15 or so years ago, but I nabbed them at an outlet for $25!  That wearing them for any longer than half an hour is akin to your feet being whipped by a thousand angry Lilliputians is besides the point – they’re devastatingly sexy (if you can walk in them, and I can) and whadda deal. 🙂

7. Whether it was created through a customs order or simple pick-and-mix blending at home, what’s the greatest scent blend you’ve ever stumbled upon?

Based off a Rosegirls’ scent they made last year, perhaps the year before, I created a stupendous custom blend with Sniff My Tarts that was – and is, although my stores are running low – one of the best darn smelling things to ever grace my nose – Mango Sorbet, Coconut Cream Pie and Vanilla Waffle Cone.  It’s tart and juicy, with hints of crispy sugar cone and unidentifiably delicious creamy things, and I still can’t get over how well my decorated sheet cake turned out, both in terms of scent and aesthetics.  Lovely.

8. It’s snack time!  Are you reaching for the sweet or the salty?

Salty, always salty.  Preferably salty, deep fried and starch-based.  And I wonder why I have a weight problem (no, actually, I don’t wonder; I think this makes it pretty clear!)

9. What’s a personal style moment you’d never care to re-live?

I think I’ve always looked darn cute, no matter the style-of-the-moment.  In grade 9 I even managed to rock ankle-zip jeans and a pink Northern Reflections sweatshirt with an embroidered LOON on the front.  Or maybe I just thought I was rocking it?  But I went through a bit of an unfortunate punk lite period after university that suited me in sensibility, if not style.  Because there was very little of the latter, just a weird affinity for armfuls of cheap, studded leather cuffs and Emily the Strange hoodies (I shouldn’t knock the hoodie; I wore my cat ear’d (and paw’d) Emily the Strange zip-up on my first date with Mr. Finger Candy.)  My hair also stuck straight up (and out) in an odd, product-enabled kind of spiky faux-hawk that made me look like a mad scientist who’s been electrocuted by her own creation.

10. You are going to live in a biodome beneath the sea for the next three years and have been allotted space for just ONE book (tiny dome!)  What cherished book will keep you entertained for the next 1095 days?

Under the Dome by Stephen King.  A very on-the-nose choice, I realize, but also a favourite novel, and a gigantic beast of one, at that – clocking in at a massive 1072 pages, it represents the best value for your bitty biodome buck.

If you’d like to play along at home, please feel free to answer these questions in the comment section below, and we hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger 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 contact us.