Nail Art: Metallic and Pinks

Now that I’ve found a way to keep my nails long without them braking (yay for gel nails) I’m going to try and have a new polish swatch/nail art each month. I realised I’m a month behind, so this month will feature two nail art; one that I had for the month of January and the other that I have for all of February.

First, January;

I saw this metallic polish on a YouTube channel I subscribe to. I thought it was the most incredible and so beautiful! I was hoping for an ice blue or some kind of blue shade for winter, but they had either the metallic green or silver, and you know me, can’t resist the dark shades.

Not as many compliments as the gold glitter, but not everyone is into the darker shades. This really stands out in natural lighting. You can distinguish the greens and purples more than inside lighting, and the faint hint of blue is more prominent too with natural light, or I thought so.

The base for this was green, which went neon after it set. The power my manicurist applied was dark and sparkly; like a fine glitter and he put it on with an application brush that would be the same as those disposable eyeshadow brushes, but a longer handle. The only drawback was; it began to peel a few days later. Not by much, but I noticed it. They were all still pretty good four weeks later, and I was pretty hard on my nails. Also, as you can see my nails are SO LONG! I couldn’t do anything with them. As much as I love long nails, there is a point where I have to cut them. I have no idea how those women with really long nails do anything with them.

For February I decided to go with a red, and wouldn’t you know it, this colour stood out.  I swear, I find this colour in everything and have two bottles of polish at home that is this same colour, but I figured fuchsia for Valentine’s Day. I got accent nails too; and my manicurist did this free hand. Can you believe this? I don’t think I could do this; not on myself. Nails are shorter too (such a relief).

 

The Other Realms: Are we alone?

symbols-of-the-four-elements-800pxThis question has been posed to scientists for decades, but only in reference to the physical universe, or the universe we can see.  As a Wiccan, one of the things that fascinate me is the different planes of existence, parallel worlds and their inhabitants; the invisible creatures that tend to nature and that man have written about for centuries. This includes elementals, spirts, Fae, and the list goes on and on.

Now I know the majority of the public don’t believe in such things, and that’s fine but answer this, if they didn’t exists why do we keep referring to them? Why do they still, after all this time stay in the minds of humans? Even with all our technological advances and science, we still do not know the extent of our world or all its secrets, so why is it so hard to believe that these other realms do exist? And with them, creatures that we only know from myth and lore?

I believe in an afterlife, so it’s not a hard leap to believe in creatures such as elementals or Fae. When I set out to explore this topic, I found that there is so much more to the unseen world than I originally thought. What started out as a short blog post has turned into something much more and I am thrilled at the amount of information I’ve gathered so far.

I understand the five basic elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Ether (spirit) and the idea that there are creatures that are so connected with their representing element that they hold sway over it.  If you’re interested, this link is to a list of elementals and an explanation to what they do.

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/mapas_ocultotierra/esp_mapa_ocultotierra_6a.htm

I need to research this more; learn how to connect and possibly communicate with them. This will be an interesting experience and I hope to pass on what I have learned.

 

Have you had any experience with Elementals? What happened?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Update: February 17th, 2017

npa-800pxWow, it’s been over six months since I did a writing update, and I’m really ashamed to say that I haven’t accomplished much writing in those months. I’m not a huge fan of forced writing but I don’t believe in ‘waiting for the Muse’ either. If I did that, I’d be spending my days doing nothing but waiting. So, what’s been going on?

I’ve stopped revising Down Finnegan’s Hollow.  I did a bit of revision to it to make sure certain details were accurate, especially the timelines, but other than that, I haven’t really worked on it. The first draft is finished so all it needs is a good revision, but right now it’s not interesting to me. Maybe because of a new story idea? It came to me while I was reading one of the classic books I downloaded from the Gutenberg Project. That, along with my English thesis research really sparked an idea. It’s going to be slow going on this one; a lot of research required that I can’t get online, but it should be interesting to see where it goes.

Plague novel is really exciting to me right now. I added in the extra bits I needed, and have a solid revision of the first seven chapters. I also managed to connect these novels with the post-apocalyptic novel set in the future, so that’s cool. It’s just a matter of revising the rest of the first novel, finishing it and the other two in the series. The second series is really cool too with a different take on some old monsters.

I did NaNo this year too. Didn’t finish as work picked up and that shot it all to Hell. My novel; a magical realism story. I’d like to see this one in the hands of an agent, as long as they don’t ask me to change it to YA. Nothing wrong with YA, but not every novel on the planet has to be YA. Seriously. Anyway, if you’re curious I posted a short excerpt HERE..

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m hoping to do an update at least once a month, so here’s to accountability and a new year!

Oh, and have you noticed that I’ve been keeping up with my blog posts. *pats on back*

How was your 2016 for writing?

Of Writers and Prose: How the ever-loving $#%^& do I sell my book?

Quill-InkFirst 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.

A writing friend of mine wrote this blog post last month. I’ll give you all time to read it. It’s a very interesting read as it shows the frustration that every author, especially new ones, are experiencing with publishing right now.

https://loveslastrefuge.com/2017/01/06/i-am-the-poster-child-for-failed-branding/

I’ve known Nya/Diane for several years and I feel her pain. The genre she writes has taken a really big hit over the last several years with indie publishing houses closing and pirating. It’s frustrating to see all that time and effort you put into a book go down the drain, and to be honest, it’s made me leery of any publishing venture outside of doing it myself.

The biggest concern is that with all the new writers publishing books, the digital landscape has become congested. Clogged even. What’s a new author to do? Hell, what’s a mid-list author to do? I have six books out and I barely make enough to buy one of those expensive coffees you have to order in a different language, but that’s my fault. In the last year I’ve done next to no promotion of my work. I’ve been too busy with school and Job That Pays to give any attention to my writing career. It isn’t that I don’t know how to market myself, or that I feel it’s hopeless; I just haven’t put any time in to doing it.

Some marketing terms that are bantered around the industry leave a bad taste in my mouth. For instance the phrase ‘target audience’. I hear this A LOT, but to me a reader isn’t a target. They’re not to be hunted down and pummelled with links to Amazon sites. Readers deserves our respect, and we need to treat them that way. Instead of throwing book links at them, why not connect with them through hobbies or other interest. Many new writers only connect with other writers, and while that’s good for learning the ropes, it’s the connections outside of the writing bubble that we need to make.

Whatever way you plan to publish, make no mistake, it’s a business and must be treated as such but promoting yourself and your work isn’t, and it shouldn’t be viewed that way. Promotion is about you; making a connection with people. There is a difference between promoting your work, and marketing it.

Marketing: noun

  1. the act of buying or selling in a market.
  2. the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the        producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising,    shipping,storing, and selling.

Vs.

Promoting: verb (used with object), promoted, promoting.

to help or encourage to exist or flourish; further:

            to promote world peace.

2. to advance in rank, dignity, position, etc.  Education.to  put ahead to the next higher stage or grade of a course or series of classes.

4. to aid in organizing (business undertakings).

5. to encourage the sales, acceptance, etc., of (a product), especially through advertising or other publicity.

 

I put these two definitions up to show you the difference. It’s very subtle, but it’s there. Think of it this way, MARKETING is your Amazon or blog page with your books; the site where readers can PURCHASE your work. PROMOTION is the act of bringing readers to those sites. With the rise of digital publishing, these two terms have blurred. Yes, they are connected to each other and they may seem like they’re the same but MARKETING is not PROMOTING, and PROMOTING is not MARKETING.

I think this is going to require more blog posts.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Greys and Berries

One of the things I like about winter is that I get to wear thee darker shades of eye shadow and lipstick. Last winter I was into shades of purple; this year its grey. I had planned on some dark shades of blue maybe even an ice blue, but I’m still not over wearing it all last spring.

Grey’s are nice; they can be soft or harsh and mix well if I did want to add some blue. I am a dedicated fan of Urban Decay, and I was disappointed when I couldn’t find any grey tones on the pallets I have. Don’t get me wrong; there are some nice shades on the Naked 1 pallet, but I wanted four grey-only shades that would complement each other. For that, I had to buy from the Sephora Collection.

 

These are nice shades and are easy to work with. There are three matt and two glitter with the center colour almost like a gun-metal grey. I can’t take a decent picture of them on; I tried three times and it didn’t look anywhere near as nice as it did on.

Another dark colour I’ve been waiting patiently to wear is berry-tone lipstick. I bought two this season – Rebel Chic from Sephora and Oh So Wicked from Rimmel. Both are excellent colours, and as you can see from the Rebel Chic is a matt while Oh So Wicked is a gloss. I like matts in winter. I find it more in character with the season than a gloss look. Gloss reminds me of summer.

winter-17-lipstick

Rebel Chic [top], Oh So Wicked [bottom]

The Rimmel [lower swatch] was so luscious and moist and it smelled SO GOOD, but didn’t stay on well. It also highlighted any lip flaws such as dryness and flakes, and as you can see from my swatch, it’s gloppy. The same with the Sephora but it wasn’t as prominent. Both did feather so I bought a lip liner.

These colours are also good for the holiday season as well.

Movie Night: The Godzilla Collection

I got a box set of Godzilla movies for Christmas and I had to share. This review will touch on all six movies in the box set. There are seven in the set, but two are the same movie; the second being the Western release with Raymond Burr. There’s an IMBd link for each movie, as well as a link to the Toho Kingdom site in case you would like to learn more about them. I’ve been a Godzilla fan since I was a little girl. I’ve seen just about every movie in this collection except for one, and it’s the last movie in the set. After watching the first three, I came to the conclusion that I must own all the Godzilla movies. This could be quite the feat as there are around 32 movies in the franchise. That includes the two made by Hollywood.

It is an honourable quest to be sure.

 

godzillaGojira

IMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047034/

Toho Kingdom Link: http://www.tohokingdom.com/movies/godzilla_1954.htm

This is the original movie and the whole thing is subtitled. Released in 1954, it’s meant to be a warning about the dangers of atomic testing.  It was re-released in 1956 to the world as Gozilla; King of the Monsters, with Raymond Burr.

It’s nice to see that after all these years the movie and the franchise is still popular. Even with the corny acting, the set designs are incredible for special effects for the day. I can only imagine what the audience of the day must have thought while watching Tokyo set on fire. This is also (as far as I know) the first of the daikaiju (big monster) movies from Japan. It’s quite clear throughout the movie that the producers wanted to make a strong connection to the monster and man’s self-destructiveness, with several dialogue pieces hinting at a connection, but whether or not the monster represents the evil of the atom bomb  or man, I don’t know.

 

godzillaraidsagainGodzilla Raids Again!

IMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048127

Toho Kingdom Link: http://www.tohokingdom.com/movies/godzilla_raids_again.htm

Billed as Gigantis, The Fire Monster for Western audiences, this second Godzilla movie introduces the ‘monster vs. monster’ theme that prevails in all future Godzilla movies. It’s not much on plot, and the translated dialogue is cringeworthy, but for the era and genre, it was popular. Trivia note; George Takei did several voices for the Western re-release. Husband and I picked up on his voice right away.

While the movie has the same tone as the first, much of the anti-atom/nuclear speeches are gone. Also, this Godzilla is referred to as the second and not the same creature that destroyed Tokyo. It was nice to see some characters from the first movie in the second, and they referenced the first movie as well; using footage of Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo as a newsreel. In the end, Godzilla defeats the second monster before returning to his home and being buried in an ice avalanche.

 

godzillavsthethingGodzilla Vs. Mothra

IMBd Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058379/

Toho Kingdom Link: http://www.tohokingdom.com/movies/mothra_vs_godzilla.htm

Billed as Godzilla vs. The Thing (again for Western audiences) this is the fourth Godzilla in the franchise, (the third being Godzilla Vs. King Kong) and again our hero is deemed ‘the bad guy’. It also focuses more on Mothra and the egg than on Godzilla with our hero receiving less screen time than the other movies. It also marks the first time Godzilla was defeated by another monster, showing that while he may be called ‘king’ he can still get his butt kicked. The only thing I found puzzling is was where Godzilla appeared from, as the last time I saw him he was buried under ice not sand. I did some research and found that the third movie answered that question.

Godzilla is coming into his own in this movie. He looks different from the original movie; now taking the shape of the creature we all love. This movie also shows that the monsters  aren’t bad and that they can help mankind, that is, when they’re not destroying cities in Japan.

 

Next month I will review the remaining three movies in the box set.

The Recipe Box: Pizza Stuffed Chicken

I KNOW! I thought the same thing when I saw the recipe. Turns out, it’s pretty damn awesome! It’s pretty simple too, and it makes for a great way to spice up chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

4 skinless chicken breasts

Mozzarella cheese

Pizza sauce.

Sliced pepperoni

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat over to 375F.
  2. When chicken is thawed, take a knife and slice a pocket into the side of the breast.
  3. Pour some pizza sauce into the pocket first, followed by small slices of mozzarella cheese, and then the pepperoni. It’s best to use the pre-sliced pepperoni as it’s just the right thickness. Add desired seasoning.
  4. Place the chicken in a baking dish and brush with olive oil and seasoning of pepper oregano and salt (optional).
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. It shouldn’t take longer than the required time as the breasts are open and exposed to the heat.

img_20170115_153308

Original recipe can be found here, along with a video.

Pizza Stuffed Chicken

Result:

This was as easy to put together as the video shows, but for me it was sloppy as hell. The pockets weren’t that deep because of the size of the breast so I put some cheese and pepperoni on top. My advice, do it. Adds more flavour to the dinner as you don’t get enough of the pizza without it. I had to cook it longer than the 30 minutes. Come on, I don’t even cook normal chicken breasts for 30 minutes. 45 minutes is the magic number. Also if you’re not a fan of, or don’t have any fresh basil, sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Again, adds flavour.

This is how mine turned out. I served it with rice and veggies.

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