Frozen!

So we are back to chilly temperatures. We hovered right around freezing for a week or two, and now we’ve definitely dropped to more normal temps. I actually saw a man running in shorts on Xmas eve (it really wasn’t quite that warm, and he looked pretty cold), and yesterday I was in 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts again. I even had to break out the balaclava again after a few weeks in just my tuque. Today it was -30ish, so I had to wear 3 pairs of pants and a tuque over the balaclava. Somehow I’ve always been good with my thin Lululemon mittens, and I just got a shiny new pair for Christmas, and they are still working great. Anyways, I ran 49.2 miles last week, and I’m now at 221 for the month (with today’s 12). I really need to check my mileage before I head out, because I totally could have done another 0.8 to make last week a round 50, but oh well.

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Yesterday post run. Today it was so cold that my phone turned off when I took it out to take a pic of my much icier face!

On to the nails!

I’ve never actually seen Frozen, but I have a 6-year-old niece who loves it (of course she does, I think all 6-year-old girls love Frozen) and she suggested I do Frozen inspired nails. They are fairly wintery, and that now seems appropriate with the cold outside. But they are bright and cheerful and made me feel happier when we had a few cloudy days in a row. They have a base of Sinful Colors Endless Blue (bright royal blue creme, one of my favourite colours) which is sponged with Sinful’s Cinderella (a light, sparkly blue) and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away (a kind of tealy creme). I also stamped snowflakes on with Sinful Colors Snow me White. Since I don’t have any snowflake plates, I used the most random plate of all (Moyou London’s Explorer 8 (the skull plate) and picked out just the little snowflakes between all the skulls. I like it!

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For a first time sponging, I think it turned out pretty great! Now I want some actual snowflake plates.

If it’s cold near you, stay safe and warm! But don’t be afraid to go outside. It’s loads of fun if you’re dressed correctly.

Sweatery nails

I’ve been attempting to do Christmassy nails lately…but I just don’t like them! So I’ve ended up starting over several times and ending up with things that are only vaguely holiday themed.

In terms of running, it’s been a pretty good week. I got horribly sick on Tuesday (weird nausea and dizziness) and had to leave work early, but that was my normal rest day, and I felt better by the morning, so I continued my usual schedule. I haven’t been hungry though, which is weird for me, since I’m normally ravenous. I’m at 47 miles for the week,and plan on getting to 60-ish by Saturday afternoon. Marathon training is semi-officially in swing. I officially start the first week of January, but my mileage right now is way higher than I had planned so I will need to rework my rough sketch of a plan.

So earlier in the week, I did a mani somewhat inspired by sweaters. It’s in Xmas colours, and is wintery, which is the best I can do at the moment. Apparently I’m not feeling the spirit this year. I think its how I basically get to work in the dark and leave in the dark. I teach in a room without any windows. I feel like I never see the sun, and that bright, cheery nails don’t make sense based on what I see all day. These short days are terrible, and I’m grateful for my long, sunlit runs on weekends.

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What I used: Sinful Colors Rosy Red, Cinderella (the light, glittery blue) and Snow me White. Ring finger is topped with Urban Outfitters Afterhours (as I mentioned before, I LOVE this glitter! It enhances whatever its on top of, and seems to shine in a rainbow of colours.) I stamped with Moyou London’s Fashionista 15, which is distinctly sweatery. Despite actually liking this mani, I took it off pretty quickly. I just felt like the red and white weren’t really my thing. You can also see that the topcoat smeared the stamp a little (I was rushing), and that was driving me somewhat crazy. I did really like the stamp on my thumb though, and I’m thinking of doing it in black and white or black and neon some time soon.

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It’s almost the solstice, so lets hope for longer days soon!

EUROPE TRIP!

I just found out I get to be a chaperone on the school’s Europe trip this spring break. Someone backed out, so I’m in! I mean, I will now have 10 days of insanity with 50 students instead of a nice relaxing break, but who can say no to a free trip to Europe! I took students to Peru a few years back, and it was a great experience, so I’m hoping this will be similar. Of course, when I took students to Peru, it was primarily to volunteer, and this is to sight-see, but while it might now be as rewarding, it should still be great. And I’ve been pretty much everywhere we are going already, but I will be glad to go back! So we leave in 101 days. Pretty exciting! I’m not going to tell the students I’m going though, and hoping to surprise them at the airport. We will see if I can manage that with all the meetings and stuff I will have to attend before hand, but why not try.

The image Explorica uses to describe the tour….super generic.

Where we’re going: Edinburgh (I didn’t go in the castle last time I was here as I had just been to Stirling Castle and a few others, so I’m excited to go in there this time), London (which I’ve been to countless times due to family living there, I was actually in London this summer, but I love it so it’ll be great. Also, I know lots of good places to go during free time), Dover-Calais, including the cliffs (I was last there when I was a child and barely remember so YAY!), Paris (always excellent, I can always do with more Louvre in my life) and Normandy (which I’ve never been to and am SUPER PUMPED ABOUT. I’ve always wanted to see some of the Canadian war memorial stuff).

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Happy hippo in the Scottish countryside four years ago & Highland cows

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So I think it’s a pretty good itinerary. Everywhere is close together, so no long train journeys (=less cranky kids) and lots to do and see. I’m excited for the food as I love European snacks and chocolate, and I’m excited for the chaos of big cities.

Also, apparently Kate Middleton’s next baby is due in April and we will be in London in April. That would be pretty awesome if we were there at the same time as the royal baby’s birth!

Anyways, I just did a quick France inspired mani to celebrate:

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Julep Gayle (a deep red creme) on thumb and pointer, Julep Marla on the middle and ring (basically the sparkly version of Gayle), and my pinkie is Julep DeAnn, which is a purpley shimmer. I stamped with Sinful Colors Easy Going (pinkish white creme) using Moyou London’s Tourist 21 plate. I was excited for the french poodles already, but this gave me an excuse to wear them. I also used the roses from the plate (LOVE) and the cameos.

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I’m very excited, if you can’t tell!

Target clearance haul! Colour and sparkle!

I just came home from my last run of the week. It’s unusually warm right now, and the snow is a disgusting mashed potato texture, so honestly, I will be glad to get back to some colder temps. It was kind of weird and foggy this morning as well. Total of 57.1 miles this week, even with me getting lazy today. I did a long run of 14 miles last Sunday, and am hoping to keep it between 14 and 18 for the next while. That always helps with increasing mileage, but I would love to start getting in a longer run on Saturdays. However, I’m working on my Post Bac in Education right now, and that means that I have class from 8:30-4:30 a few Saturdays a month, which really gets in the way of that plan. Maybe my goal will be to get in a longer Saturday on weekends where I don’t have class.

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Trail at St. Vital Park

Anyways, I hit up Target the other day to grab some Q-tips, but I came home with quite the pile. HUGE SALE on nail polish and cosmetics. It seemed like almost every second polish was on sale. I paid $20 for as many as I could hold in my hands. Glad I didn’t get a basket, or I probably would have bought way more. I was also at the mall, and grabbed some random polishes at Urban Outfitters, which I am incredibly surprised and pleased by. Here’s what I got:

Nicole by OPI: Carried away ($0.59!!!), A million Sparkles ($2.something), Lips are Dripping Honey ($2.39) and Mer-Maid for Each Other ($1.something) I lost some of the clearance stickers on the way home and have thrown out the receipt.

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Urban Outfitters Champagne Toast (white and gold glitter) and Afterhours (rainbow glitter). I love both of these already. They will see a lot of use, especially Afterhours, since the rainbow seems to enhance any colour its matched with. 2/$6.

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Other randoms where price varied from $0.29 to $2.09: Maybelline Color Show Walk in the park (a deep green creme), the holographic L’Oreal topcoat (very pretty, but makes all nails look blue, no matter what colour they were…), Essie Stroke of Brilliance (bluish purple round glitter), the green/yellow Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat (such a weird polish, but kind of cool), Sinful Colors Rosy Red, NYC High Line Green, Revlon’s Nail art set in Van Gogh and a Sally Hansen Striper in White.

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Great deal, hey?

So here’s what I’ve done with them so far. I started a Holiday mani with all the new colours, and hated it, so I started over and ended with something pretty and a little more muted, despite still being glittery and ridiculous. Base on fingers is: Julep Millie (purple creme) and Julep Mahima (gold). I stamped with Moyou London’s Fashionista 5, and added glitter to the ring and pinkie with OPI Lips are Dripping Honey. I actually loved this mani, but I lost most of when I was working with Acetone setting up a lab for one of my classes. Pretty nails don’t last long for a chemistry teacher.

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Have a good winter weekend!

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Two designs this week! Wheat and Africa

I just got home from a 7.5 mile run. Planned on longer, but slept in and was meeting a friend at the mall for some Christmas shopping, so things got delayed and cut short. As I’ve mentioned before, I run to/from work 3-4 times a week, and its 5.5 miles each way. I’m hoping to possibly extend the run home a few times a week to get home better mid-week long(er) runs during marathon training, so I did a little test last night. Added 2 miles to my run home, and turned it into more of a tempo run for the last 3 miles (tempo pace was tricky due to ice and running over a very steep bridge, so I went by feel). And I feel great today! Feels like I didn’t change anything. So the plan is to maybe do Wednesdays a little different this winter: 5.5 on the way to work, then 8-10 on the way home. That makes for a 14+ mile day, which I can work with. Along with a Sunday long run, I hope this will help with my endurance. Since that seems to be what I’m lacking. Other than that, this week has been a little lazy. I felt a cold coming on Thursday, so I took an unplanned rest day. And that meant I had time to do my nails twice!

So my first mani was inspired by where I live. I’m definitely a prairie girl at heart, and love the look of the wheat fields when driving out to the lake. All the yellows and golds against the gorgeous endless blue sky.

I even ran a rural marathon (Treherne, if anyone is interested, and it was GREAT) last year where it was just me (well, there were only 20 full marathoners) and the fields. Gorgeous. So I did wheat and the birds that are always found in the wheat fields. I loved this look and plan on redoing it for the holidays. I chose black instead of blue skies, as I was going for a more sophisticated look. Or at least trying for sophisticated.

IMG_2199IMG_2202Ooo my hands look pale with flash. I used Sinful Colors Black on Black as a base, then Julep Mahima on my ring finger. I stamped the opposite colours with Moyou London’s Cookbook 14 and Hipster 8. My pinky is still deformed, so I am using glitter to cover it, and topped it with Julep’s new diamond topper from the mystery bag (Chantel).

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The next mani was my Thursday rest day look. I was inspired by Canadian Nail Fanatic’s post on Moyou London’s Explorer 10 plate, and basically copied her. (Check out the inspiration here!). I didn’t yet have sponges (I bought some today so I do now!) so I hand painted the sky gradient with some jelly polishes. Started with a base of Yellow (Sinful Colors Let’s Meet), and added several coats of Cloud 9 to get the sunset effect. Worked surprisingly well, but I’m excited to try a real gradient. I stamped the cute animals on with Black on Black and touched up the edges. I LOVED the trees on my thumbs, and the rhinos on my pinkies were pretty awesome. It also really impressed my students, because they see my “art” on the board, and were surprised by what I could do. This is another mani I will probably repeat in the summer.

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Love it. I just redid the nails today as I got some amazing deals at Target, so I’ll post about that later this week!

Moyou haul and Houndstooth nails

November’s running total: 219 miles

This year’s miles so far: 2,362.5

Nails bitten in the past 3 weeks: one! And it’s my deformed pinky nail which I think I’m going to lose, so whatever!

So I ordered a who bunch of Moyou plates the other day. And yes, I bought all of the ones shown below. Whats terrifying is that there’s another 26 or so plates in my cart that I want still. I’m waiting and hoping for a sale, or maybe just free shipping again. I also ordered a few more which are destined to be Christmas gifts (so not posted on here!), but the rest are all for me! So I’ve been having a great time stamping with my new Julep polishes as well!

I find actual photos of stamping plates to be somewhat difficult, but one thing I’ve noticed with MoYou is that their plates are always excellent quality and look exactly like the images online. So I’m posting pics from their website. If anyone wants actual pics, let me know.

What I got:

Explorer collection: I’m excited for the little animals on #10 in particular

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Cookbook collection: I love love love all of these and foresee them getting a lot of use!

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Fashionista collection: Sweaters! Houndstooth! Chevrons! Awesome stamps for use all the time!

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Artist collection

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Hipster Collection: I bought this pretty much only due to the tiny birds. Adorable.

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Sailor Collection: I also love the wave patterns on these and I see them getting a lot of use. Particularly with some of the sea themed stamps from the Cookbook collection

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Kaleidoscope collection

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Tourist Collection: Mini poodles!!!!

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Pro collection: I’m excited for some more Bio nails!

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Tropical Collection

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Basically I’m super pumped to play with them and I’ve been doing my nails more frequently than usual as an excuse to try them out. Somehow, with all these crazy options, I ended up doing a simple houndstooth pattern in Sinful Colors Snow me White stamped with Rich in Heart (the deep purpley red that I love) using Fashionista 10. I did my pinkies with All About You. I loved this mani and found it incredibly striking. The purpley red was much less harsh than a pure black, and much more flattering. I wish I didn’t have to glitter my pinkies, but the right nail is really messed up due to being in a splint for 6 weeks. It’s got a huge horizontal crack through, and it’s all weird and bubbly. Honestly, it looks like it might fall off. So glitter camouflages that!

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In the snowy sunshine

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Indoors

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I’ve finally found a cheap topcoat that I like, which is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Invisible. I think it might actually be a clear polish rather than a topcoat, and it dries rather slowly, but when it dries, it’s rock hard and super shiny. And it doesn’t smudge my stamping when I put it on. Good stuff. I need to try some more topcoats, but I am liking this stuff quite a bit, considering it was $1.99. It also doesn’t chip. At all. I had it on for 6 days with no chips, just some tip wear. Pretty awesome.

This month, I should be getting into the holiday nails. Lots of golds, reds and glitters. Yay!

Goals for running: 55 miles a week, even the week of Christmas! We’ll see if this is possible.

Winter/Summer

I love winter running so far. I mean, I loved it last year until about February as well, so I’m sure I’ll change my mind. So far it’s wonderful though. Nice fluffy snow, quiet streets and now I get to pull out all my winter gear.

I walked down to the river the other day, and noticed how fast it can freeze when we have a few weeks below 0. Check out the pictures below from the summer (end of August or beginning of Sept, I can’t remember) and last week.

Late summer on the river

Late summer on the river

Last week...Its already much more frozen

Last week…It’s even more frozen today

I am getting very excited for the river to freeze solid so I can go skating on it and do my long runs on it. Usually a few times each way on the river trails can add up to a good 18-20 miles. The ice is a little hard on my shins when I run, but it’s just so much fun! Last year I ran a race on it in January, so it should definitely be solid enough to run on in a few more weeks. Something to look forward to!

So far this month, I’ve run 27 runs and done 165 miles. This year I’m at 2296 miles. My original goal was 1900, so it’s going well. Last week, I managed 52.2 with parent teacher interviews int here and a class all day Saturday, so…success! This week should be similar.

For my nails, I decided I needed something bright and summery to get me through a long Thursday night and Friday morning full of interviews. So I went bright, glittery and somewhat crazy.

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I used 2 coats each of Sinful Colors Endless Blue (bright blue) and Let’s Meet (a slightly glittery, fairly sheer yellow).  I then stamped from Moyou London’s Fashionista plate 7 in Sinful Colors Let’s Meet (a pinkish cream). I topped my pinkie with Sinful’s Hottie (blue glitter) and my middle and ring finger with Maybelline’s Color Show Jewels in Platinum Adorn. As I said, a little crazy, but nice and bright and cheerful. My nails are slowly growing longer, and I’ve been doing much better with not biting them. I currently hate all the topcoats that I have, so I won’t even mention what I used because it sucks.

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All photos this week taken in the staff room at work…it’s too cloudy and cold outside to get nice pics!

On the plus side, I’m waiting on a huge order of more Moyou plates, so hopefully I’ll have something cool soon! On the down side, wearing a splint on my pinkie for 6 weeks caused the nail to crack horizontally down the middle (not all the way through, but about halfway), so that nail is super ugly. Oh well.