Easter Weekend

Easter Header Photo

Loveliest of Easter weekends to you, friends.  Being not so religious, as well as hailing from the kind of small, WASP-y family that does things like vacations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my Easter weekends typically involve travel and a whole lot of outlet shopping.  Or they did when I was a kid; my mom and dad and I – “us is the flamily” – passing horse-drawn Amish buggies on the road, catching fireflies in the parking lot of the motel, buying ultra preppy oxblood penny loafers at the Bass outlet and scarfing endless plates of incredible fried chicken at the restaurant where the waitress didn’t even blink when I said I wanted mashed potatoes and gravy as all FOUR of my sides. Those were really great vacations. 🙂

But this Easter weekend I’m home, simply enjoying a few days off from what has so far been a rather busy April.  Quite a few social events and a new-ish exercise regimen that keeps me hoppin’ like a bunny.

Speaking of, here are a few items guaranteed to put a spring – and THE Spring – into the Easter Bunny’s bounce.  Remarkably, these are all things I pulled from around my apartment.  I didn’t have to go rummaging in seasonal storage for anything.  So when I was joking a month or so ago that it’s always Easter in my apartment, I guess I really wasn’t joking?!

My favourite speckled egg wreath makes another appearance here, alongside, on the left, some very cute little cracked egg votive candles, a neat stack of Peeps-scented wax tarts from Yankee Candle, an actual Peeps-shaped wax tart from The Bathing Garden in Keep Your Temper, and KB Shimmer’s Where My Peeps At, which is pure Easter in a bottle.

Easter Photo Left Side

Then over on the right we have a gigantic, three-part Chick ‘N’ Mix bath bomb from Lush (there’s a cute little bicarbonate bunny inside the huge chick), a speckled wax robin’s egg from The Bathing Garden in Blackberry Fudge, a clutch of pastel Reflections markers, a wee little ceramic cupcake perfect for hiding tiny treasures, another Peeps-shaped wax tart from The Bathing Garden in Looking Glass, two frosted sugar cookies from London, Ontario bakery A Couple of Squares and a large glass jar filled with a half dozen hand-painted cardboard eggs.  Hoppy Easter!

Easter Photo Right Side

Game Over

Game Over Fingers

Back when I started all this nail art business, the joke among my people was that the day I showed up with skulls and dangly unicorn pendants hanging from my fingertips was the day they could all ship me off to the funny farm for tacky nail artists.

Well, I’m pleased to say, friends, that that day has finally arrived!  Truly, this manicure is just a dollar sign and a marijuana leaf away from total perfection.  Okay, okay, so the unicorn isn’t dangling, but my shorter-than-most nails simply don’t allow for – yikes, this term always gives me the willies – nail piercing.  But nail charms – especially super tacky ones gifted to me by my husband as a kind of inside joke – are most certainly allowed, even ones that span my entire nail and then some.

I particularly like that I’ve paired this hideous-looking skull and its misshapen unicorn buddy with one of the most high end polishes in my collection, Enchanted Polish’s gold-flecked Christmas in July.  Life’s full of contrasts, my friends.

Sunday Night Simpsons

Sunday Night Simpsons

It’s been a long time since my standing Sunday night appointment with The Simpsons, but man, back in the day, I had a real Simpsons problem.  In university when I lived at home with my parents, I’d hog the remote and make them watch two episodes over the dinner hour.  They always laughed, but after the fourth time hearing “Yes, Lisa, a magical animal” (my Dad’s favourite, and frequently uttered, quote) they started feeling a bit of Simpsons fatigue.  I watched a bunch of season 4 episodes this afternoon for the first time in ages, and they were absolutely hilarious – must add more Simpsons to my life, starting with these nails!

The Dark Side and the Light Side

Main Enchanted Mystery Photo

Yesterday I was banging on about a bath bomb that looked like the Death Star and today I’m equating my nail polish shades with the moral relativism of a Jedi – looks like somebody’s got Star Wars on the brain.  Which is sort of interesting, as I’ve actually never done a Star Wars manicure.  Can’t be that big a fan, I suppose (I’m not; I pretty much like The Force Awakens and that’s it!)

But I always like nail polish, and I really like these two Enchanted Polish lacquers, picks both from Enchanted’s collection of 2017 mystery polishes.  Longtime readers may remember that I purchased all of 2015’s mystery polishes, although they may also recall that I wasn’t terrifically impressed with any of the choices.  As such, I sat out 2016.  But when Enchanted announced that 2017’s run of mystery polishes was going to harken back to their earliest best sellers, polishes that I initially missed out on because nail art wasn’t yet a thing in my life, I thought I’d jump back into the fray and hope for the best.

The first two polishes of the year, January and February, already give me great hope that this collection will be filled with unique offerings.  I have my fingers crossed about five times over for a polish inspired by Shrimp Cocktail, a shimmery, coral-hued jelly that is MY holy grail of nail polishes, but I’ll be satisfied if they’re all as lovely as January and February.  Let’s take a closer look at both. 🙂

January 2017 Collage

Representing the Dark Side (or just, you know, the dark side) is January 2017, a black scattered holo brimming with indigo, purple and lime green shimmer.  January 2017 is one of those polishes that regrettably photographs quite poorly.  Glittery black polishes tend to do that, their riot of rainbow colours getting somewhat lost in the gloom.  January ’17 is no exception, particularly in the shade.  But out in the sun or beneath any other direct light source, this polish is an absolute stunner, tossing off mad rainbows with every flick of your fingertips.  Gorgeous in two easy coats.

January 2017 Bottle Shot

February 2017 Collage

Then looking on the lighter side of life, we have the very ethereal-looking February 2017. This polish is a bit of an odd duck – I initially thought it was a very sheer topper.  But February 2017 is actually a full coverage polish, beautifully opaque in two coats, and reminiscent of standing in a cloudy haze.  By which I mean an actual cloudy haze, not a drug-induced one – like when I quite triumphantly stood on a mountaintop in Stowe, Vermont as a teenager, the clouds gently curling my hair into damp tendrils, and looked down on the majesty of creation and thought…”WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING UP HERE?! IT’S A FRIGGIN’ THREE HOUR HIKE BACK DOWN THIS OVERGROWN HILL!”  Never been much for nature, this one.

But this polish is so lovely, this time a silver linear holo infused with a rich streak of greeny-purple shimmer. It’s a sort of queasy-looking colour combination, and one I like very much, particularly in the shade.

February 2017 Collage Shade

These two polishes are unfortunately no longer available.  For the mystery polishes, Enchanted operates on a pre-order basis, and I purchased both of these (at a cost of $16 US a bottle) earlier in January.  But the rest of the year is still up on deck, and if these two beauties are any indication, we’re all in for some lovely treats.  You can get yours by signing up for Enchanted’s newsletter, which will fill you in on any upcoming pre-orders and releases.

Pink Poinsettias

pink-poinsettias

I’ve had a poinsettia now for three, maybe four years.  It’s a deeply misshapen thing, taller than it is wide, and hasn’t produced a single blossom since all but five leaves fell off it the first Christmas I brought it home.  You’d never know that it started off existence as a plump little mini, because these days it’s tall, thin and spindly – it’s the Jack Skellington of Christmas plants!  I won’t go so far as to say it’s unkillable, though – the beautiful summer’s day I very optimistically placed him outdoors, feeling quite pleased with myself that he was getting so much lovely sun, very nearly did him in, and he’s been an indoor kitty ever since.  It’s kind of sad!  But these poinsettia nails are not sad, and make me happy because pink poinsettias are the best!

Popcorn Garland

popcorn-garland-shade

My mom and I attempted to make popcorn-and-cranberry garland when I was a kid. It…did not go well!  I mean, it went very well in the sense that at the end of a frustrating couple of hours I was packed full of antioxidant-rich cranberries and popcorn, but actual garland production was completely unsuccessful – what pioneering nitwit came up with the idea to SEW POPCORN AND BERRIES, may I ask (still better than the dude who looked down at a spiny artichoke and said, “Yeah, that might be edible.”)  Perhaps best to limit these kinds of things to your nails. 🙂

Fall Fun Series: The End

fall-collage-again-again

Well, here we are, friends, right at the finish line of the Fall Fun Series, the casual blogging collective I joined up with at the beginning of September.  For the final prompt, we’ve been tasked with wrapping up our experience, and not just the series, but the Fall as a whole.

And mine?  Pretty darn fantastic, actually, because for the first time in many years, I felt compelled to engage with my favourite season.  In years past, I’d look around somewhere about the end of October and realize that without intending to, I had missed it all – the changing leaves, the beautiful, crisp temperatures, the spooky movies and cider and farmers’ markets. The past few years I haven’t even bothered putting up my much-loved Halloween Town, such has been my seasonal malaise (although truly, that’s more a function of the fact that it’s a total pain in the arse to store, assemble and display.)

But that all changed this year (not the Halloween Town thing; it’s still a total pain in my arse.)  And if that’s because of the series, then I’m so glad it happened, because I had a wonderful Fall, engaged in some very enjoyable activities and made a bunch of cool new blogger friends.  So what were some of the neat discoveries I made this Fall, the fun things I took part in?

For one, I apparently really like arranging my wax on cake plates.  I can’t help it; the cute little shapes look like wee pastries!

cake-stand-wax-collage

Then, for the first time in years, I pulled my beloved – but incredibly delicate – Nightmare Before Christmas musical snow globe off the shelf where it normally lives and cleaned it to within an inch of its life (a bit of maintenance I really need to attend to more often.)  The residents of Halloween Town now positively gleam!

nbc-collage

Speaking of, I put out MY Halloween Town for the first time in two or three years. Then at the end of the season, thanks to some lovely weather that made puttering around on my balcony not quite the windswept nightmare it normally is, I was able to very carefully box up my little lighted buildings and pack them snugly away for the winter where they won’t get dirty or damaged or worse.  Having the town out, blinking away creepily from the diningroom table, was such a pleasure this year, but I think I’m enjoying the sense of satisfaction that comes from an organizing job well done even more.

halloween-town-1

In the midst of the Fall Fun Series I also decided to participate in the annual 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, which turned out…totally fine.  I was expecting just complete blogging lunacy, but things worked out rather well, another little feat of organization I’m quite proud of. These Beetlejuice nails were my favourites of the challenge – actually, one of my favourite manicures, period.

beetlejuice-fingers

Outside of my nail art activities, I got a little crafty with it this Fall, mixing together a super easy – and very popular – pumpkin spice sugar scrub, and then a decidedly less popular take on Disney’s LeFou’s Brew, a frozen apple juice beverage topped with marshmallow foam so it looks like a sudsy flagon of ale (it was disgusting, full stop.  Turns out cold marshmallow is a big culinary no-no!)

Then, inspired by the enthusiasm of my Floridian blogging friends who never get to experience the beauty of a cold climate Fall, I made an effort to really appreciate the ever-changing riot of colour going off around me every day, including a stunning blue sky day trip to the Gatineau Hills for a little drive with my parents.

leaf-collage-again

I also melted an absolute ton of wax.  Apple wax, pumpkin wax, apple-pumpkin wax…and these are just the blends I thought to take a photo of!  On the plus side, my apartment smells divine.

super-wax-collage

Then in between the wax and the leaves and the undrinkable marshmallow beverages, I celebrated my 12th wedding anniversary, enjoyed a delicious seasonal bath and spent a fantastic morning out in the country with my husband visiting the little town I grew up in. It was a very good day.

north-gower-collage

And a very good challenge!  If the Fall Fun Series could be called a challenge, which in some respects, it very much was.  Abiding by a set blogging schedule is actually quite challenging, a delicate balancing act between generating content (also known as “living life”) and then writing about it.  It’s not for everybody, but I had a great time, and I’m thankful for the little motivational kick in the pants the series gave me to get out there and enjoy my city during my very favourite time of the year.  To next year’s series (except next time, maybe let’s try winter.  If I smell another apple or pumpkin-scented wax product, I’m gonna keel over!)