Nail Art: Gel Nails and Dotting Tools

If you’ve been following my Instagram account, you know that about a year and a half ago I started posting pictures of my nail art. Most of it was on short nails because my nails have become weak and brittle. Gel nails solved that problem and I just learned that I can put regular nail polish on gel nails! Using nail polish remover (with or without acetone) doesn’t hurt the gel overlay! Yes, I tried it and the shiny surface appeared without a hint of discolouration or damage. I am so impressed, so you know what this means right?

BACK TO MY NAIL ART!

I came up with so many ideas in the last year and now I can work on making them happen.

One of the first nail art tools I bought were dotting tools. They’re inexpensive and easy to use, mind you, I had to get a feel for them first before I attempted anything. My tools came in a set of five, double-ended tools ranging in size.

dotting tools

Dotting Tools

Dotters are probably the easiest of nail art tools to use and perfect for beginners like me. They add a bit of flair to your manicure, and using them was way easier than the sponges for the gradient work I did in the summer. This was the first time I used them. After two coats of base polish (Revlon Red) dried, I put two large drops of black nail polish (My Gondola or Yours) on some paper and dipped the large end of my #5 dotting tool into it. I did a few test tries on the paper first, and when I got the feel for it, randomly put black dots over the red.

LadyBugs

Reminds me of ladybugs.

The Other Realms: Psychic Vampires

Picture this; you’re invited to a party at a friend’s house. There are people at the party you’ve never met before, and that’s cool, you like meeting new people. One person in particular stands out to you.  You begin to feel ill or tired around this one person. You stay away, but the feeling continues to the point you have to leave. By the time you get home you’re exhausted. Falling into bed, you sleep soundly until the next morning.

What the hell happened? From all the symptoms I’d say you came in contact with what is known as a ‘psychic vampire’; someone who unconsciously drains the energy from other people. Some of you may laugh, but if you’ve experienced this type of scenario before then you know understand how deeply it affects you and how debilitating it can be, especially if the person in question is a close friend or relative.

First of all, don’t laugh, they exists. My use of the phrase ‘psychic vampire’ is flamboyant but accurate. For these people ‘feeding’ off others is an unconscious act. For whatever reason (illness, emotional immaturity, trapped in a negative situation to name a few) they are unable to sustain their own levels of personal energy and the only way they can survive is by draining others. We are creatures of energy and we need more than just food to survive. Like balancing your chakras; if one is off you will feel it physically.

These are two excellent articles on energy drainers. Llewellyn Article. https://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/513

Understanding How Psychic Vampires Work

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-a-psychic-vampire-attack-happens-1724677

There are ways to protect yourself from the effects of these energy drainers. The best solution would be to stay away from them, but that’s not always possible. When dealing with people close to you (family or co-workers) try to understand the situation. How are you drawing these people to you? Are they physically ill? In a negative situation? There are techniques at the end of the linked article that will help you.

For myself, I wear a black tourmaline when I go to work or any place I’ll be interacting with people. I also put up a personal shield. Instructions for that can be found HERE.

Have you come across a psychic vampire before? How did you respond?

Adventures in Restaurants: The dinner that wasn’t.

RestaurantLogoI enjoy going out to dinner with my husband. Even after twenty-four years we still find things to talk about. His day, my day, our son, what the hell we’re going to do with the house; light conversations and antidotes. Relaxing in a nice restaurant with a good meal is something we’ve just started doing, so my birthday outing (which started all this in the first place) was going to be an anniversary of sorts for us.

Too bad it didn’t work out that way.

Now, like I said, I enjoy a good conversation with dinner and when we go out it’s expected that other patrons feel the same way, but the restaurant we had reservations at this time out was so loud with talking, neither of us could hear what the server was saying, even though she was RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Literally! Bent over, no less than a foot from my face and I still could barely understand what she was saying. Disappointed was not the emotion that reared up either. It was a small, intimate dining room, but the McDonald’s play room would have been quieter.

So we left. I apologized to the server, explained that it was too loud and we high-tailed it out of there. Husband didn’t even get a sip of water from his glass. We went to a few other places close by, but as we suspected (because it was the weekend) they were full. It was also a really nice night too. That always brings out the customers.

I think our first mistake was going on the weekend. Looking back, our other restaurant adventures were during the week. Weekends are always busy, but Husband had a reservation, and as it was someplace we’d never been to, and we had no idea what to expect. Atmosphere is everything to a restaurant and as I’ve worked in a few, I know that it only takes one or two tables to ruin it. Trust me, I could tell you stories . . .

I’m debating whether or not to try this place again, but not on the weekend. All the reviews said the food was excellent and it is one of the places on our list. I’m just afraid of it being the same again. We ended up at our old stand-by; Red Lobster. At that point, after walking around downtown for half an hour I was so hungry if that place had been busy I would have settled for McDonald’s.

Second time a charm or not?

Of Writers and Prose: Promoting Yourself, Not Your Work.

[DISCLAIMER] First of all, I’m not an expert at this and I’ve never claimed to be. This is just my perspective and how I view the publishing industry.

Quill-InkI read a blog post a few months back claiming that Twitter was no longer a viable option for authors to promote their book. You can read the article here.

http://www.justpublishingadvice.com/poor-twitter-growth-is-bad-news-for-self-published-authors/

 

No shit. It never was.

What struck me about this article is that it equates statistics for Twitter with readership and author visibility, and while no new growth may be bad for Twitter, that doesn’t mean it’s bad for authors. I understand what the article is saying, but to compare Twitter with writers is LITERALLY comparing apples to oranges. As a writer, I know my books aren’t for everyone and depending on the genre, writers will have a limited audience. If you look at Book Bub’s genre listing, you’ll see that mysteries top the chart compared to YA, which agents are constantly looking for.

EXISTING accounts/readers are the ones that authors need to focus on. EXISTING readers tell other readers about your book; WORD OF MOUTH. Companies are notorious for offering sign up deals and discounts to NEW customers instead of rewarding their ESTABLISHED customer base. Imagine there were no freebies or low-priced books. What do you think would happen if an author offered a discounted price to ONLY NEW READERS? While you must look at your books as a business; this is where the business model for companies and the business model for readers MUST branch away. The approach cannot be the same.

So what’s an author to do?

Yes, we need new readers, and we find them by connecting with them via social media, but here is where I see a lot of writers going off the rail; they don’t connect with their readers, they talk AT them, instead of TO them. A while back I helped a writer from my writing group try and understand social media. He has a book coming out and his publisher is all over him about getting ‘out there’. Over the course of an hour or so, I explained how you can use social media to HELP sell your books; because that’s what it is – a TOOL (I’m pretty sure I wrote a blog post on social media tools, but I can’t find it).

Authors must keep one thing in mind when promoting themselves and using social media; it’s about being social. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your work, but like the linked article states; Twitter is no longer a viable option for authors to promote their book.

And it never was.

Movie Night: Fantastic Beast & Where to Find Them

fantastic-beasts-IMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3183660/

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis:  The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander arrives in New York after a world-wide excursion looking for magical creatures. When several creatures escape from his suitcase, his journey becomes a lot more complicated than he wished, and ends up causing trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds. With the help of a No Maj, an ex-auror and her sister, Newt recovers the missing creatures and helps solve a series of bizarre and deadly magical occurrences that have been plaguing New York.

Review:  First off, let me say the tone of is movie is somewhat dark and deserves the PG-13 rating and was quite surprised by the tone and might be too scary for a younger audience; especially the final scenes.

Many reviews said the movie was slow, but I disagree. It wasn’t full of action the whole time but good story telling is a combination of both. I loved the special effects, and the magical creatures were fun as always. It would be nice if there was a sequel to this movie, picking up where this one ended and possible continuing with the hidden sub-plot (which doesn’t reveal itself until the end). Or perhaps that is what will happen? A second series in the magical world of J.K. Rowling?

Overall, if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Oh, and hats off to the set creator who fashioned the headquarters of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) in DecoPunk!

 

4 out of 5

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Spring Palette and brushes.

I did some serious splurging for spring, but I had too. I wanted to do purple eye-shadow for spring but the colours I had were way too dark, so off to Sephora I went. I wasn’t impressed with the silver/grey I got from their line of eye-shadow products. Too much sparkle and not enough matt. I have *very* large eyes and hooded eyelids. I need matts. Urban Decay didn’t have anything I liked either, but Kat von D did, so after doing some research, I picked up her PLUM palette. All I can say is holy shit. These are rich colours that are very pigmented and creamy, but there’s quite a bit of ‘fly away’. I’ve found patting the shadow on is the best way to apply and because it’s so pigmented you don’t need a lot. What’s really cool about this palette is that instead of colour names on the bottom of the container it has what you use the colour for. Very helpful. Also, the palette is in the shape of a coffin! Seriously adorable.

She has three others; SAGE, RUST, and SMOKE. I think each are perfect for the other seasons.

My second big splurge was on brushes. The eye-shadow applicator I normally use was rough so I got some new ones. I love E.L.F brushes. They’re so soft, and I now own a kabuki brush. Not sure what I do with it, but I like the fact I can tell people I own a kabuki brush.

The last brush I bought in my splurge was bloody expensive; a foundation brush. $41!

foundationFlatTip

It’s so worth it. I don’t use my fingers to apply foundation (well, not since the 80’s) and the sponges don’t seem to spread the foundation evenly and get dirty and mucky too quickly. Putting foundation on with the brush not only spreads it more even, but I use less with a brush. I now have three that are strictly face brushes; one for foundation, one for powder and a third for bronzer. I expect this to grow when I get some highlighter and blush, and you can’t have makeup brushes without makeup brush cleaner. Brushes are incredible to use, but you need to clean them. I used to do it once every few months; usually when I changed eye-shadows, but I found this little beauty cleaner and I’m going to do them once a week.

cleanerGeez I love playing with this stuff!

Movie Night: Collateral

Collateral_2004_movieIMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369339/

Rating: R

Synopsis:  A cab driver (Max) finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer (Vincent) as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles.

~~~~~

Review: This movie was something I turned on for background noise while I wrote. I didn’t think I’d actually like it so I was pleasantly surprised. What kept my attention was the dialogue and interaction between the two main characters. Vincent might be a killer, but he has class. He’s clever; befriending one target right up until the moment he takes his life. Vincent understands killing is his job; this is what he chose to do. Max is a dreamer and has aspirations of being something more than just a cab driver, but never does anything but talk about it. Vincent berates Max several times about his lack of commitment to his dream, and it’s this alone that final prompts Max to take a stand against Vincent.

One thing I really appreciated with this movie; no extended final fight scene. I despise movies where the bad guy (whom everyone thinks is dead) makes one last ditch to kill the good guy. There were a couple things that bothered me, but nothing that really took anything away from the movie. Overall, it wasn’t all that bad.

 

4 out of 5

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