Friday, December 9, 2016

26 Great Nail Art Ideas - Christmas Preparations

**Nothing to Disclose**

This prompt was another one that stumped me for a while. I ended up just using a bunch of images from Winstonia Have a Merry Xmas since they were all Christmassy designs. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache, then topped it with Finger Paints Of Quartz You Can. I absolutely love how it looks. All of the stamping polishes are Bundle Monster. Gingerbread man was done with Annato Clay, ornaments are So Metal, peppermint candies are red sea, the Charlie Brown tree is Tree of Life, and the snowflakes are So Metal. I'm really impressed with how pigmented these polishes are. I was using a lot of non-stamping polish for my stamping, so it is wonderful to have ones that actually work properly.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Eggnong Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross


Title: Eggnog Murder
Series: Lucy Stone #23.5
Author: Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross

Goodreads Summary: With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yultide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Eggnog Murder – To me, this was the weakest of the stories. It might be because I've never really been a fan of Leslie Meyer's stories, but it just didn't keep my interest as much as I hoped it would. There were just so many characters that got on my nerves. The mystery itself was well-written, and I liked it drawing attention to PTSD.

Death by Eggnog – Is it bad that I couldn't stop snickering at the inappropriate jokes in this one? Some of the phrasing just really cracked me up. I also love Hayley's articles sprinkled through the story. One of them actually had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. The mystery was just wow. I was shocked at how it all played out.

Nogged Off – I do wish the eggnog played a real part in the story. In the previous two, it was used as a murder weapon, but in here it was more of just a funny anecdote. The mystery was just amazing, and a bit freaky. I've never read this series before but had no trouble at all following along. There is enough information given to get you familiar with the characters, but not so much that the story drags.

My Manicure: Hooray! A Christmas manicure! I don't know why but I just love doing Christmas manicures. I started out with a base of Zoya Verushka. This was one of their Matte Velvets, and I love the finish on them (this is without a topcoat). Then I used Winstonia Jingle All The Way and OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby for the trees. I picked LAMB because it is a satin finish, so it isn't super jarring against the base. Simple, but super festive.


Monday, December 5, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait


Title: Dangling by a Thread
Series: Mainely Needlepoint #4
Author: Lea Wait

Goodreads Summary: The Mainely Needlepointers are about to learn that no man is an island—especially when greedy developers want his land . . . 

Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King’s Island, three miles east of Haven Harbor, Maine, where he’s created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jesse’s cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered.

Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defense. Angie Curtis and the ravelers stitch “Save the King’s Island Cormorants” pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse’s legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie and Dave find Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer . . . 

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

This is the first book I have read in this series, and I had absolutely no trouble following along with the story. The characters were well-written, although not very genre savvy at times. I did figure out who did it and why easily, but it was still an interesting mystery.

My Manicure: I know I say this a lot, but I love this manicure! I started out with absolutely no ideas on what to do. I started looking at my stamping plates, and realized that this image looks a lot like tangled thread, which is pretty much what happens whenever I cross stitch. I have yet to figure out how I tie threads in knots without any actual knots. With the image part solved, I had to figure out colors. My first thought was to go bold, but it didn't feel right for this. Then I thought of the ocean and picked out some colors that felt like a stormy sea. The base is KBShimmer Fin and Tonic from her Misfits 2016 collection. I really need to find just the base color of this, because it is absolutely gorgeous. The stamping was done with Winstonia Expressionism plate and Bundle Monster Indikon. I love how the stamping helps bring out some of the blue tone in the base polish.


Friday, December 2, 2016

Nail Crazies Unite - Holiday Movie

**Nothing to Disclose**

Ok, confession time. I was dreading this prompt. I honestly couldn't figure out a holiday movie that would translate to nail art very well. Then it hit me - Holiday Inn. This is the movie that the song White Christmas debuted in, and it also has a few iconic dances in it (Fred Astaire's "drunk dance" and his firecracker dance). So, I went for the obvious inspiration - snow. I started with a base of Finger Paints Paper Mache, then topped that with Of Quartz You Can to give it a shimmery, freshly fallen snow look. Then I stamped with Winstonia Have A Merry Xmas and Bundle Monster So Metal. I really adore how this turned out, but I do wish my camera had been able to pick up the shiftyness of the topper better.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - Dying for Strawberries by Sharon Farrow


Title: Dying for Strawberries
Series: Berry Basket Mystery #1
Author: Sharon Farrow

Goodreads Summary: With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.

Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancĂ©, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . . 

But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Irina disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Irina, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Ok, funny story about how this ended up on my TBR list. “Cozy mystery set in Michigan”. Yeah, that was all it took for this to jump into my neverending TBR pile. Luckily, I was right in thinking that I would like it. It is a great start to a new series. Some characters are a little over-the-top, but some people are that over-the-top in real life, too. The mystery was well-written, and just how planned out the murder was was a bit freaky.

My Manicure: I am so sorry that I couldn't manage more than this. I've been fighting a pounding headache all day, so I could barely even do this much. I just went for a simple strawberry color, which was a lot harder than it would seem. Every red that jumped out at me was either shimmer or holo, and I've never seen strawberries that look like that (but how awesome would that be?). I ended up with Zoya Renee, which really is an absolutely gorgeous red.


Monday, November 28, 2016

My Nails and My Book Review - A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig


Title: A Whole Latte Murder
Series: Java Jive Mystery #3
Author: Caroline Fardig

Goodreads Summary: Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over.

Juliet's personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct's homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet's growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing.

Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet's neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl's nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet's involvement puts a strain on Ryder's first homicide case. The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice.

My Review: **I voluntarily reviewed this ARC**

Another strong book in this series. I wouldn't exactly classify it as a cozy, but it also isn't quite a traditional mystery. It's in that sort of gray area between the two. The mystery is really good, with some definite twists, although the ending is a bit dark.

My Manicure: I decided that I had to go with a coffee theme for this one, but I wanted to do it a little differently than just my standard coffee manicures. I started out with a base of Dollish Polish SQUIRREL!!! Yes, it really is written like that. I might have a little too much fun saying it (imagine Christmas Vacation for the proper way to say it). The stamping is done with MoYou London Cookbook 03 and Bundle Monster So Metal.


Friday, November 25, 2016

26 Great Nail Art Ideas - Winter Warmth

**Nothing to Disclose**

Winter warmth. It's one of those prompts that has endless possibilities. I thought of going sweater or mitten type, but then decided to go with a different way of staying warm - hot cocoa! When I was little, my mom would make us hot cocoa when we came in from the cold. It was even one of our Halloween traditions since Minnesota could have some brutal weather even in fall. The cocoa is Sinful Colors Leather Loose. I let it dry matte rather than top coating it since cocoa normally doesn't sparkle. The oozy melty whipped cream is Bundle Monster BM-405 and Bam! White.