Twas the Day After Pinkmas

Pinkmas 2

I love the pastel approach to Christmas; my dream Christmas tree is actually a rosy pink artificial behemoth covered in soft white twinkle lights.  One day, my pretty, one day.

But for now I’ll content myself with my admittedly pretty dope, food ornament-covered tree (also a bit of a behemoth, though getting on in years) and this festive glitter polish, KB Shimmer’s Merry Pinkmas (also getting on in years; you can see a bit of the separated whitener that’s settled at the bottom of the bottle.)  I think it looks a bit like Strawberry Shortcake in a bottle, and it’s one of my favourite old glitter polishes to bust out around the holidays (it also sees a bit of action on Valentine’s Day; can’t ever go wrong with that pink and red combo.)

Pinkmas 1

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A Very Merry Mani

Foodie Tree Collage 3

Hoo baby, we’re in the holiday soup now – it’s the final weekend before the Christmas holidays, and the festive is about to go. off.  Like most folks, I’ve got a lot of social engagements over the coming days, and time has gone all whackeroo.  I swear it was the beginning of the month just last week (it has been, as Counting Crows might say, a very long December.)

I’m actually feeling pretty neutral about the holidays; relaxed to a fault, even.  Save a few stocking stuffery-type things, Mr. Finger Candy and I have no gifts for one another.  It’s kind of a bummer not having pretty presents wrapped up under the tree, but not remotely a bummer when you consider that instead of jewelry or video games or a new coffee maker (shame that, as we kind of need one) we’re gifting ourselves with another trip to Disney World in February of the new year.

Last weekend we hosted my husband’s family for our annual Christmas get-together, and then tonight my mom and dad are hosting another family event that is sure to leave us all desperately wishing for Santa to bring us pants with elasticized waistbands, because my mom does not know the meaning of the word “moderation” when it comes to a holiday meal; if you don’t stagger from the house (with leftovers!) offhandedly contemplating a wee pit stop at the emergency room, she has apparently failed as a mother. 😉

Christmas Breakfast Table

Then this weekend we’ll be dropping in on our friends’ holiday open house, where we always have a nice time catching up with folks we haven’t seen in years.  And speaking of, I’ll be capping off the Christmas social season with an evening in the company of some ladies I’ve known since high school (and in a couple of cases, beyond.)  We try to get together every Christmas, for brunch, or drinks at the pub, or this crazy random party we attend every year that brings out our very best-worst impulses to overindulge and spaz out on the dance floor to the Beasties and the Wu.  Okay, so I actually really love that part. 😉

So we’ve got lots of fun stuff coming up this week, and I’m sure that will pull me out of this neutral zone of disinterest that I’ve been occupying since the beginning of the month.  And I really hope it does, because so far the only thing about the holidays I’ve actually been able to fully get behind is our Christmas tree – I think this year’s edition is perhaps the nicest one I’ve ever decorated.  I’m so glad I put it up early so the Weege could have a chance to loaf beneath its twinkling lights; she loved the Christmas tree.

Foodie Tree 26

I’ve spoken about my tree before – it’s 15 artificial years old this Christmas, and we have history.  As in I have been electrocuted twice whilst lighting it, plus all of the bottom branches are broken, so a full quarter of the tree is held up by, well, itself.  And one year I really super overdid it on the twinkle lights (2,100 of them; how proud Clark Griswold would have been) and nearly suffered a nervous breakdown for my efforts.  These days I stick to a much more manageable 600 or so.

And with the exception of maybe a dozen or so ornaments, every decoration on this tree is of something edible – fast food, candy, baked goods and other sweets.  It’s such a beautiful tree, and every year it proves to be just about my favourite thing about the holidays.

Foodie Tree Collage 1

I purchased a great load of these ornaments over 15 years ago at a 75% off sale at a local Christmas shop, but we’ve amassed far more since as gifts (nearly every one of those Starbucks ornaments) and random retail finds.  My favourites include a glittery glass t-bone, The Christmas Pickle, and that wee rasher of bacon dangling tantalizingly over the photo of our cat, Weegie.  New additions this year include some squashy – yes, squashy! – cupcake and donut ornaments, the cool pewter ornament we got at the Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam dessert party at Disney, and two small photo tributes to our dearly missed kitties, Weegie and Porky.

Foodie Tree Collage 2

And because it’s just what I do (or it’s what I did – I really have no idea what this blog is about any more) I whipped up a glittery Christmas mani inspired by my tree, nail charm ornaments and all.  It’s a whole lot of high maintenance look, but then again, so is the tree!  Here I paired those little charms (from Daily Charme, all) with KB Shimmer’s Get Clover It.  Very merry, indeed. 🙂

Foodie Tree 2

Foodie Tree 3

Not Your Usual Holiday Meltdown

Mario Wax 2

After a year spent excitedly throwing myself onto and then most likely staggering off of any number of actual roller coasters, I find myself, here at the end of 2018, riding the Emotional Roller Coaster Express.  It’s been a real “Stop the world, I’d like to get off” kind of month.  But upon reflection, that’s been my entire 2018 – wild vacation highs followed by protracted periods of gutting real life lows.  On the whole, I haven’t enjoyed this ride.  In fact, I’m totally sick of it (instead of just getting sick by it.)  Zero stars on TripAdvisor, this attraction sucks.

Pretty much the only thing I didn’t biff this year was my commitment to cutting back on my discretionary spending.  I mean, I did just turn around and plow that money straight into Disney vacations, so file that one under the “Re-Prioritization” files.  But after 2017, when I spent every bit of money I had on things that I thought would make me happy, but didn’t, I knew a shift was in order, and I curbed my spending HARD.

Part of that curbing was limiting my wax purchases to three orders, a custom order from Sniff My Tarts (due any day now!), a hugely anticipated order from The Melting Duck and this order from Rosegirls, a holiday tradition of mine for three seasons now.  I love receiving these whimsical Mario blends every year; it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them.  Just being handed this sweetly scented package put a smile on my face, possibly the first genuine one in weeks.  Also, not for nothing, but by limiting my purchases to a few absolute must-haves, it made what was becoming kind of boring and accepted (oh look, another wax order) a Very Special Event.  It’s nice to actual derive some enjoyment and delight out of my treats again.

Mario Wax 3

All right, enough emotional shop talk, on to the wax.  Let’s take a look-see and peep the Super Mario-themed blends I picked up in 2018, shall we?

Mario Wax 4

First up, a sextet of adorable little muffins (“Title of your sextet tape!”) in, top row, starting on the left, Jumping on Clouds, a candy floss-dominant bakery blend of Vanilla Crunch Donuts Fluff Puffs, Marshmallow Smoothie, Cuppa Cake and Cotton Candy Frosting, Starbeans Cafe, a gently caffeinated combo of Espresso, Vanilla Crunch Donuts and Vanilla Bean Noel and Thwomps, an incredibly unique, “Wow, this one’s got a taste!” blend of Pine, Peppermint, Sugar Cookie Dough and Campfire Marshmallow.  I’m not entirely sure I like Thwomps, but I don’t dislike it either (which means in about a month’s time it will become my most favouritest scent blend EVER, trust.)

Then on the bottom row, once again starting on the left, we have Warp Zone, a spritely combination of Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs, Peppermint and Vanilla Crunch Donuts, Koopa Klaus is Coming to Town, a rich, ultra comforting blend of Sugar Cookies, Coconut and Baked Zucchini Bread (and an all-time favourite of mine) and Bob-omb Blast, an improbably delicious blend of Blackberry, Campfire Marshmallow, Vanilla Bean Noel and Glazed Donuts.  It is so weird and I love it about as much as I’m confused by Thwomps.  Both feature Campfire Marshmallow; is that the weird at work here?

Mario Wax 4

Finally, we have a pretty random assortment of chunks, top, and a new item called Mario Melts, bottom.  In chunks, I grabbed Yoshi the Red Nosed Dino, left, a beautifully hued and ultra tart combination of Raspberry Sauce and Pistachio Marshmallow Fluff (another favourite, if not THE blend that turned me on to scented wax in the first place) and Go Tell it on DK’s Mountain, right, another “Why do I like this?” fave featuring Fresh Pine, Sweater Weather and Vanilla Bean Noel.  How bizarre that all my Mario usuals are my usual unusuals, no?

Then in the Mario Melters, little layered, bar-shaped wax chunks, I ordered another annual favourite, Up on the Castle Top, left, a bubblegummy blend of Berry Creme Brulee and Rice Krispie Treats (it does not smell like pink bubblegum, but rather this berry Bubbalicious gum I loved as a kid) and then the new wax on the block, Koopa Klaus Needs a Latte, right, a combination of my beloved Koopa Klaus is Coming to Town and Espresso.  Holy smokes, this one is great; Mr. Finger Candy’s going to be all over this coffee ‘n’ cookies combo.  I also think the potential for someone to actually mistake this wax for something edible is nearly guaranteed, particularly at this time of year – it looks EXACTLY like these homemade Twix bars I like to make, and smells just like them, too.

Mario Wax 5

So there we have it, a highly anticipated Rosegirls wax order over one year in the making.  I really wish a lot of things had gone differently this year, particularly in the last month, but I will continue to be proud of myself for reining in my more destructive shopping impulses so that I can once again enjoy the things I do buy, like this special little wax order.  Gotta take pleasure in the small – and smell 😉 – victories.

Merry Christmas, Holy Shit, Where’s the Tylenol?!

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house…there wasn’t an effin’ peep, because I was trying to be as quiet as possible so as to hear my postal carrier’s knock on the front door.  Which never came, because I’m talking about Canada Post here, and they are wildly incompetent thieves, charlatans and goons.

To back up this cheery Christmas fable a beat or two, the union representing Canada Post, the taxpayer-funded Crown corporation that manages the Canadian postal system, launched a short-lived, pre-holiday strike that was about as successful as their usual approach to business – drowning in complaints, the federal government quickly legislated them back to work, with a promise to re-open the negotiations in the new year.  And I vehemently hope that when that time comes, the government mails out the invitations via Canada Post, so they never, ever get to their recipients.

Our postal system is, and always has been, a colossal joke.  But I thought it was just your garden variety unionized incompetence.  But with this strike, timed to inflict as much damage as possible on customers (commercial and civilian, Canadian and global alike) they have shown their true colours – they are ignorant, crass opportunists willing to hijack an entire holiday for their own dubious gain.  The Grinch comparisons are apt.

What has my fur up today is the fact that I rearranged my entire schedule so I could be home for a time-sensitive, need-it-by-this-weekend delivery.  For days now I’ve tracked my package as it’s bounced back and forth between various distribution centres, many of them hopelessly backlogged because of the short-lived strike.  Also, not too surprisingly, there are reports of continued intentional slow-downs and informal strikes by the most devoted of the union’s members.

Without getting into the politics of UNION GOOD/BAD (I have actually worked in both kinds of environments, and each system has its pluses and minuses) I believe the union’s demands to be wildly out of touch with Canada Post’s proven track record of near-complete ineptitude.  You won’t find a person in this country who doesn’t have multiple stories of misplaced mail, destroyed packages, completely undelivered packages, disinterested, snarky customer service and trampled landscaping.  On review site trustpilot.com, there are 917 reviews for Canada Post, and a full 93 percent of them fall under the bad/one-star category.  The one thing they seem to do consistently well is piss off their customers.

Like yours truly, who sat here all morning – didn’t run down to the gym, didn’t push the vacuum around, didn’t even take a call that might have tied up the line – anticipating a delivery that I KNEW was not going to come.  And it didn’t.  After some hours, I went down to the mail room, and there in my mailbox, nestled in beside the bills that always seem to show up on time, was a delivery notification informing me that I could not be reached, and I could pick up my own damn package at a postal outlet tomorrow afternoon.  You cannot access my mail room without accessing the entire building as a whole, which means the carrier was here, actually IN my building, and couldn’t be arsed to drag his lying butt up to my apartment or, alternately, call up and ask me to come down and meet him.  The truly galling part of all of this is that a different delivery, this one through UPS, showed up on my doorstep about two minutes later – nice, friendly guy carrying out his professional duties like a professional.  Take notes, Canada Post.  Then drop them on the slushy ground, step on them and lose them under the seat of your van for the next three and a half months.

And please take note, Canadian government, of the taxpayers who are no longer willing to broker with a bunch of lying, duplicitous laze-abouts.  Because the fallout is greater than just some people being horked off that their Christmas gifts didn’t arrive on time.  Rather, we’re talking about the wholesale defrauding of the Canadian people and their postal partners.  Canada Post’s service has NEVER warranted the nearly bulletproof protection afforded to it by its government and union affiliations, and the organization as a whole has done itself precisely zero favours with this pre-Christmas Grinch grift.  ANY negotiating leverage they think they may have amassed is about as effectual as their actual service.

Last year, completely dissatisfied with my dealings with both Walmart and the entire Loblaws group of companies, I sought to cut both out of my retail experience.  And for the most part, I was successful – I think I shopped at Walmart maybe five times in 2018, and even less than that at a Loblaws-owned entity.  It was a pain, and in many cases the workarounds I found were more expensive than if I had just gone to the stores in question in the first place, but sometimes our convictions are more important than nabbing 72 rolls of three-ply at a low, low, low price.

2019 is the year I cut Canada Post out of my life.  That this may harm businesses I like to shop from is without dispute, but I will no longer deal with any company that uses the postal system as their default carrier.  I will find alternate carriers to transport my goods, and if I can’t manage that, I simply won’t buy from that retailer in the hopes that they, too, strike this toxic entity from their business rosters.

Shame on you, Canada Post, you petulant, foolish children, and thank your lucky stars Santa isn’t one of your employees, or this year you’d be getting jack shit.  Merry Christmas, ho ho ho, and oh yeah – get fucked.

Merry Manatees

Merry Manatees

Know what this is, friends?  A Sandra Lewrey original, and an early Christmas gift for my mom.  You’d never know I’m nearly 41 years old with art skills like these!

No surprise that “real” is not exactly my thing (you need look no further than my nail art designs for abundant evidence of that) but these manatees look like they were drawn by a four-year-old!  Which is appropriate, because I’m kind of feeling like a four-year-old.  Because tomorrow morning my husband and I are once again leaving on a jet plane for all places Disney World, straight through Christmas and a little bit beyond.

And I’m feeling only-child wretched about it.  Unbelievably excited, of course – oh my cats, we’re going to Disney for Christmas!!! – but also sad.  Have, in fact, here on the eve of our flights, been crying for the better part of the evening.  Before you (somewhat rightfully) declare me an epic wuss puss, allow me to say that I’m very close to my parents, and this will be the first Christmas in 40 years that we will not be together.  I’m trying to be mature about it, but I actually like hanging out with my parents, and as much fun as I KNOW Mr. Finger Candy and I going to have, I also know I’m going to miss them terribly.  Hence all the tears.  I’ve actually gone the full ham and we’re watching The Christmas Toy, a Jim Henson production of the late ’80s about an unlikely friendship between a stuffed tiger toy and a catnip mouse that makes me SOB from start to finish.

The quasi-joke among our family this holiday season is that my husband and I are ABANDONING them, AT CHRISTMAS.  Which we are.  Might as well own up to it!  So I made this painting for my mom of two manatees abandoning their family for the holidays.  I’m the one with the bow. 🙂

Happiest of Christmases, friends.  I will try to update this blog over the next week, but I’ve never blogged on the road before, and I’ve no idea what to expect.  Also, you know I’ll be back at you with a complete rundown of the entire experience, in exhaustive detail!  You’ll be begging me to stop telling you about the Star Wars fireworks and projection show at Hollywood Studios already.  But until then, the merriest of merrys to you and yours, and warmest of wishes for a wonderful holiday.

Merry and Bright

Merry and Bright 1

Well, consider that check and checked, thanks to this dazzlingly festive polish, Ceramic Glaze’s Hong Kong Diva, and a couple of cheerful gingerbread men nail charms from Daily Charme.

This is the part where I usually ask where all the time has gone, and issue a plea for just a few more hours to be added to each day, just until Christmas.  Except I feel like I have things pretty well in hand this year.  Tomorrow we host my husband’s family for our annual holiday meal; afterwards my parents will stop by to help us clean up the leftovers and indulge in a yearly viewing of Home Alone.  Next week I’ve got lunch and donut dates with my parents, and weather pending, a cool evening light show.  And I have just a handful of little gifts to pick up, so I’m feeling pretty good about things!  Check back with me in a couple of days, though – as things spiral towards Christmas, undoubtedly we’ll all be feeling the pinch.

Also, a macro shot, because this polish is gorgeous!  Such a wonderful pick for this time of year – festive, fun and sexy.

Merry and Bright Macro

Aunt Bethany’s Jello Mold

Aunt Bethany's Jello Mold

“Aunt Bethany, does your cat by any chance like Jello?”  Behold, Aunt Bethany’s Festive Jello Mold nails, with extra cat crunchies!

Fun fact: For every bang-on and deeply unsettling impression of the Grudge ghost, the Mars Attacks aliens and Gollum that my husband can fire off with the greatest of ease, I can pull off a righteous Aunt Bethany from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  It’s all in drawing out those long “W” sounds – “Clawrk, is Ruwsty stiwill in the Nayvey?” is a particular favourite. 🙂

I’ll also point out the smudged bit on my index finger, so created when I looked down and realized I had topcoated a cat fur into my manicure.  This has to be one of those life imitating art kind of moments (or art imitating life?  Or would it be life imitating art imitating life?  I think my brain just broke.)  In any event, I think Aunt Bethany would approve of the furry addition, even if I didn’t care for the blemish.  I suppose it really doesn’t matter, though, when you’re talking about a cat food-studded Jello salad!