There Can Be Only One

There Can Be 1

Jack-o-Lantern face, that is!  Growing up, my pumpkin dictator mother decreed that there could only be one expression carved into the side of a ripe Halloween pumpkin – triangle eyes, half-moon mouth, the end!  It’s a classic for a reason, to be sure.  All the same, she was (jokingly) aghast the year I came along and added two pointy fangs to the half-moon mouth; what the hey was this kid doing messing with tradition anyways?!  I attempt to be a glass-half-full kind of person, so I’m going to say I was just respecting tradition.  In fact, I respect it so much – well, just take a peek at last year’s tiny Jack-o-Lantern.

Weegie 1

Weegie is a non-conformist, and she thinks my later work has grown repetitive.  How rude!  Also, says the cat in the lobster costume!  And yes, that is a 16-year-old torbi dressed as a crustacean, sitting beside a lit Jack-o-Lantern on my diningroom table; what of it? 😉

These happy Jack-o-Lantern nails are for my mom, both the classic, proscribed expression and avec fangs, just to mix things up and drive my mom a teeny bit bonkers.  Happy Halloween!

There Can Be 2

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

Attack of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Fingers Sun Super Closeup

Full confession: I used to be a proud member of the Pumpkin Spice Tribe.  Just pumpkin spice ALL the things, particularly the Starbucks lattes, which I drank by the venti boatful. Then after taking an assessment of my health and finances (and finding the results pretty dim) I pulled back considerably on my PSL obsession, to the point where I hardly ventured into a Starbucks at all.  I’m now back on neutral territory with Fall’s most ubiquitous hot beverage, in part because I now treat them as precisely that – a much-enjoyed treat. And for that my waistline, wallet and teeth have all thanked me greatly (I always say this, but Pumpkin Spice Lattes really prompt the tooth-furries, no?)

So my love of pumpkin spice as a flavour may come and go, but it will always be a wonderful inspiration for nail art, particularly when you have two beautiful holographic polishes just THE precise shades of a delicious, late autumn PSL (KB Shimmer’s Rust No One, left, and Oh My Ganache, right.)  Bonus points if you have a sweet little coffee cup charm with which to seal the deal (or the lid.)

Pumpkin Spice Polish Collage

But all is not totally lost on the edible pumpkin spice front.  I’m still pretty powerless to resist its autumnal charms, so if something comes in a pumpkin spice flavour and it doesn’t sound totally disgusting, I’m probably going to try it (perhaps take that one with a grain of salt; I am, after all, one of maybe only seven people in the world who actually liked Trident’s espresso-flavoured gum.)  And hey, look – here’s a few pumpkiny goodies now!

Pumpkin Spice Products Collage

Starting in the top left-hand corner, we have Starbucks’ instant PSL pouches.  I’m no great coffee snob, but this was just terrible.  I tossed my nearly full cup after just a few sips.  Watery – somehow, even when made with milk – and with a distinct burnt taste, this tasted nothing like a Pumpkin Spice Latte or even its non-union equivalent, the Punkin’ Spice Lah-tay.  Seriously, if your obsession has reached the point that you need something like these instant pouches to get you through the bleak, latte-less hours of the wee, wee morning, you need help.  I’m here for you.

To the right of the pumpkin poison we have pumpkin spice-enhanced 1% milk from Natrel.  This ultra light, not-too-sweet creamer is actually pretty delicious, and a nice little pumpkin spice booster for coffee, smoothies, baking or just plain old drinking.  Very nice.

Finally, along the bottom we have a half-enjoyed package of Voortman’s pumpkin spice wafer cookies.  And the package is half-done because these?  Are AWESOME.  Lightly spiced pumpkin cream sandwiched between crispy, light-as-air vanilla wafers?  Hell, YES.  And did I mention that three cookies are just 150 calories?  So a fairly reasonable little snack to satisfy that sweet pumpkin spice craving we all seem to succumb to at this time of year.

One more time for the nails because they’re kind of dope, this time in the shade.

Pumpkin Spice Fingers Shade


Fall Fun Series: Halloween ’16


Coming at you dark and early this Halloween morn, friends, with best wishes for a spooktacular ‘Ween ’16.  As for me, I’ll be spending the day with Mr. Finger Candy as we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary!  Here’s a throwback to the big day.  I think we clean up pretty well. 🙂


And while we do have some plans, we’re both big time homebodies, and neither one of us is much for the grand anniversary show (if you don’t get married so you can spend your time binge-watching TV on the couch in your jammies together, you’re doing it wrong!) We’ll probably spend the day sticking close to home, where we’ll be surrounded by the creepy-cozy Halloween decorations I finally put up this past weekend.  Better late than never!

You’ve already met my Halloween town, a rundown, way-off-the-highway amusement park mostly populated by bats and skeletons.  It takes up the entire surface of my diningroom table, and compromises the bulk of my seasonal decorating.


Out in the kitchen we have two ceramic Jack-o-Lantern tealight “bags” that I’ve somehow managed not to destroy over 15-plus years of use, as well as a couple of lovely and thoughtful cards from sweet blogger friends.


Down in the bathroom we have a cool wire tealight candelabra I purchased from Michael’s I-have-no-idea how long ago (if I don’t destroy them, I tend to hold on to my favourite possessions forever) and my Trick (and) Treat towels, which are actually tea towels and not hand towels – tell no one. 😉



In the second bedroom we have my Book of Spells, a large decorative tome (from Hallmark, I think) meant for holding Halloween sweets, although given the shelf life of Halloween treats around my house (non-existent), it’s doing far greater work safely holding the broken off bits and bobs of my Halloween town.


Out in the diningroom we have a tombstone fit for a Terminator.  I just think it’s funny. The petrified catnip mice may disagree.


And finally, out in the diningroom (but in this picture it’s in the kitchen) we have the newest addition to my Halloween haul, a devil kitty wax warmer from Yankee Candle that my husband bought for me a couple of months ago.  Sophia is her name, and in addition to her cute little devil tail and ears, she has a row of adorable little bat markings that run down her back.  Here Sophia is diligently melting my last chunk of Rosegirls’ Boo’s Spooky Castle, a blend of Boo Berry, Vanilla Crunch Donuts and Monster Cookie, and one of only two even remotely Halloween themed waxes in my collection (the other being another cereal blend, Strawberry Frankenberry.)

Yankee Halloween Kitty.png

And so there we have it, the Halloween decor here at Casa Finger Candy.  And now I’m off to enjoy my anniversary!  I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween, friends – may your candy hauls be back-achingly grand!

Fall Fun Series: Waxing on About Pumpkins


So I’ve gone totally off script on the Fall Fun Series, writing several posts about one theme (this is my second about pumpkins, for instance) or combining multiple posts into one (that would also be this post, as you’ll see at the end.)  Oh yeah, I’m a blogging rebel!  Or I apparently have a lot to say on the subject of pumpkins?  One or the other.

Let’s start with the pumpkin wax, shall we?  So as it would turn out, pumpkin scents, across multiple vendors, are simply not my jam; I find most of them to be quite sour and a bit headache-inducing.  Other fragrance-philes have probably experienced this, but there’s an odd little thing that happens with home fragrance – particularly complicated, multi-layered bakery blends – where you conflate what sounds yummy to the tummy with what might actually be pleasing to the nose.  So a pumpkin cream cheese smoothie may sound pretty delicious as a snack, but in scent reality, it’s a little less scrumptious.  So that’s how I wound up with a number of pumpkin-based scents that I’m not extraordinarily fond of, although I’ve no doubt there are other people out there for whom pumpkin scents are the axis on which the scent world turns.  Told you – odd!

And so for those folks, here are some of the pumpkin scents I melted this week that I enjoyed, but which unfortunately didn’t set my world on fire (wah-waaaaahhhh.)

The top left-hand photo in the header collage is a scent I melted through rather quickly this year, Rosegirls’ Pumpkin Blueberry Cobbler.  I melted this blend for the Fall bakery prompt some weeks back, and I really like it, as that sour pumpkin note I object to is well buried under sweet, delicious blueberries.


Going clockwise, the second scent is another Rosegirls blend in Pumpkin Pecan Waffles and Butterbrickle. Butterbrickle, for the blissfully unaware, is a kind of butterscotchy scent – I always think of peanut brittle without the nuts.  To my nose, it has a sort of cooked note to it that I’m not hugely fond of; combined with Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, a ubiquitous Fall scent from Bath and Body Works that I’m also not super keen on, this one was a bit of a dud.  Pretty, though, when melted – it looks a bit like orange pekoe tea.


Continuing on clockwise, the next scent is another blueberry-pumpkin blend from Rosegirls, this time Pumpkin Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes.  This one has grown on me considerably in the last little while, although that sour pumpkin note, in combination with an occasionally sour-smelling cream cheese note, is just far too powerful a blend-mate for the mild blueberry to overcome.  Bit of a bummer, as I purchased an entire bag based on the very delicious-sounding description (see above re: confusing what sounds delicious and what sounds like it will smell delicious.)


Finally, we have the Rosegirls blend I mentioned earlier, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Smoothie.  I had the same problem with this wax as I did the Pumpkin Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes, which is not too surprising, as they have a nearly identical scent profile, minus the saving graces of the blueberry.  I turned this one off rather quickly; not my favourite.


Finally-finally, to satisfy the Fall-in-nature portion of the Fall Fun Series, here is a photo of my parents standing in front of the stunningly gorgeous Gatineau Hills.


I can see the Hills from my balconies all the time, but the three of us took a bit of a trip up that way the other day to visit the small family cemetery where my grandparents are buried.  We do this a couple of times a year – tidy up their graves, tend the flowers we’ve planted around their stones, get kind of maudlin and weepy.  It’s all very Irish.  But first, the leaves!  And just THE most perfect blue-skied Fall day.



Fall Fun Series: Punkin’ Rock


Yesterday’s prompt in the Fall Fun Series was pumpkins, so today I have lots of sweet squashy goodness for you, starting with this deliciously spicy “bathscape” I pulled together out of some favourite scented wax, a homemade brown sugar scrub and two fun, seasonal items from Lush’s recently-released Halloween collection.

The first order of business was sweetly scented air, which I took care of by melting a couple of cubes of each of the two fragrances in ScentSationals Baked With Love combo pack, Pumpkin Sugar Cookie and Cinnamon-Pumpkin.  This wax was a surprise hit with me, so much so that I went out and bought a second pack, and I never do that.  Inexpensive (about $3.00 for two and a half ounces), readily available (at your local Walmart), long-lasting (I pulled it long before it ceased smelling) and, most importantly, delicious-smelling (both scents feature a really nice spicy-sweet note, with the Pumpkin Sugar Cookie half smelling like the world’s most delicious, pumpkin-flecked carrot cake), this wax was very nearly the total Fall package (the one drawback being that the wax itself was quite heavily pigmented, and it stained my white tealight warmer an indelible, smudgy brown.  I’ll be using my dark purple warmer for this one going forward.)


It was time to break into the bubbly next, which I did by crumbling half of this Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar from Lush into a strainer and running it under the tap.  Lush lists juniper berry oil as one of the Pumpkin’s main ingredients, and indeed, this shimmery little guy smells like a gin distillery.  I have a real hate-hate relationship with gin, so I can’t say I’m hugely fond of the citrusy, woodsy, almost tangy scent of the Sparkly Pumpkin, but I’m willing to take one for the team in the name of bath time experimentation!  This two-use bubble bar runs a pretty outrageous $7.95 Canadian, but that’s Lush for you.


And because no good bath is complete without a delightfully fizzy bath bomb, THAT was provided by Lush’s whimsical little Pumpkin bath bomb.  Bearing a charming Jack-o-Lantern grin, I almost didn’t want to use this little orange guy, but for once, I really loved the smell of the product (mmm spicy clovey cinnamon good), so into the bath he went, with Great Pumpkin prejudice!  And while the Pumpkin, which on the smaller side retails for $6.95 , wasn’t the showiest bath bomb I’ve ever used, it scented my bath with all sorts of delicious, fragrant spices, tinged my bathwater the prettiest shade of shimmery peach and left my skin feeling delightfully soft and smooth (and speckled with gold glitter, but I’m laying that one at the door of the Sparkly Pumpkin.)


Finally, I hopped on into the bath with some of my homemade pumpkin spice sugar scrub to smooth out my rough bits.  If you’re interested in making this super simple beauty craftable yourself, you can find the recipe and instructions here.

Now is the part where I think I’m supposed to tell you to (wah-wah) Fall into the tub, but please don’t do that! I’d prefer it if you stepped in carefully, being mindful of all those slippery essential oils coating the bottom, yeah?  Happy Fall Tubbing. 😉

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin PatchWhen I was a kid my parents and I lived in a 100-year-old wooden farmhouse out in the country. My grandparents lived next door in a new-ish bungalow, and owned most of the surrounding farmland. The reams of preserved fruits and vegetables my grandmother would put up every year might suggest a different story (going down to the cold storage to get a jar of whatever always felt a bit like shopping), but my grandfather was a true hobby farmer, content with smaller scale farming pursuits like tending trees, growing fruits and vegetables and reminding his granddaughter that it’s really gross to just yank the carrot out of the ground and eat it without washing it off first (I’d do it all the time, mostly just to get a rise out of him; I’d shake them off a bit, but I think I ate a lot of dirt as a kid!) It was quiet, contemplative, family-oriented work – just my grandfather tending the little fields of veggies, veggies that would cover our dinner plates later that evening. It’s what he chose to do in his retirement, and he did it well, in that quiet, humble way most farmers have about them.

Except when it came to pumpkin season. Because as soon as the pumpkins were ready, it was showtime. Every October my grandparents would set up a big stand at the road and would sell all manner of fall-type produce, from apples to Indian corn (flint corn, if you’d prefer) to pumpkins. Being older and living out in the country, my grandparents were justifiably somewhat skittish about the randoms that would periodically wander onto their property, usually in search of directions, but occasionally just to act weird (“C’mon, how often did that happen way out in the country?” you might be thinking. ALL THE TIME is the answer) but come pumpkin time, it was doors open for my grandparents. I relished the crowds and the hustle and bustle of the seasonal event, and I loved watching my grandparents out of their element, particularly my mild mannered grandfather, who for about two weeks every fall would morph into some sort of master pumpkin salesman/carnival barker. The little village I grew up in certainly had its fair share of roadside produce stands, but ours always seemed extra busy, and I like to think it was because my grandfather, in accessing a bit of his too-often-hidden inner showman, made it a fun, friendly place to visit. I know he certainly loved the experience – never have you seen a man swing a giant pile of pumpkins into the back of a pickup so jauntily.

I’m all grown up now and my grandfather has been gone for 20 years, but I still remember those pumpkin-slinging days like they happened last week. Very good times in what was a very good childhood, and one more piece of the not-such-a-puzzle puzzle that is my love of the fall. These pumpkin patch nails are in remembrance of those fantastic days. 🙂



Thanks in large part to Starbucks’ decade long reign of pumpkin spice terror, pumpkins are now the ubiquitous fall…fruit? Are pumpkins fruit?

*Consults Google* Okay, yes, pumpkins are indeed a fruit! See what you can learn in a day?

But fruit or vegetable, it’s that magical time of year when everything’s coming up pumpkin, including my nails!