BookTube: A Court of Thorns and Roses DIY Nail Art With Melissa Grey

Melissa Grey and I have teamed up again to bring you some DIY nail art for one of our favorite books of 2015, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas!  ACOTAR is a fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast mixed with Tamlin (which is even the lead male characters name).  You can read my full review for A Court of Thorns and Roses here.  I am one of those people that is totally guilty of judging books by their covers so before I even had an inkling of the plot synopsis, I knew I needed ACOTAR because 1) Sarah J. Maas is AMAZING and I am obsessed with her Throne of Glass series and 2) the cover of ACOTAR is absolutely GORGEOUS.  If you follow Melissa and I’s tutorial, please tweet us photos of your nails because we would love to see them!

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BookTube: DIY Nail Art Inspired By V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade Of Magic

In my latest BookTube video I’ve teamed up with Melissa Grey, author of the upcoming The Girl at Midnight and the guru behind Novel Nails for a bookish manicure inspired by V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic.  If you like to read my full review of Victoria’s latest book, you can see that here.  And if you do your own ADSOM manicure, please tag us in your photos on Twitter / Instagram!

Here are some behind the scenes photos and stills of the manicure!





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Party Planning: Doctor Who Premiere

It’s not every day that the Doctor regenerates so when the 8th season of Doctor Who premiered on BBC, I knew I had to go all out.  I am a diehard fan of the Eleventh Doctor (other Kristin prefers Ten), so I was having an especially difficult time coping with the change.  I thought it might take my mind off things if I marathoned my favorite episodes and baked my heart out during all of the hours leading up to Peter Capaldi’s debut.  I even employed the artistic skills of my awesome boyfriend Andrew to draw on the balloons, the bathroom mirror, and the solo cups. The first thing that I knew I would be spending hours baking were my favorite cookie, the Jammie Dodger.  It’s kind of become tradition that I bake these for most of the big episodes because they are one of my favorite cookies, but they require a lot of work.  The recipe for Jammie Dodgers is one of the first things we’ve ever posted on our blog and I’ve been making them ever since Kristin shared it.  I used cookie cutters from WarpZone on Etsy to capture the likenesses of the Weeping Angels, Daleks, and my beloved 11th Doctor.
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The next treat obviously had to be TARDIS themed so I was thrilled to see this beautiful cake that The Nerdy Girlie posted.  Since I was baking alone I cheated a little on this one and I used a premade cake mix and frosting that I picked up at Michaels along with TARDIS blue food coloring and black and white frosting tubes and writing tips.  Once the cake was baked, I dyed the frosting blue and I used the black frosting tube with the icing tip to draw a horizontal line about 1/4 down from the top of the cake.  Then I drew another black frosting line down the center, four squares on each side of the line, and two small lines in the middle (as handles).  Above the line, I drew and filled in a black rectangle which I later wrote “Police Box” on in the white frosting.  I also filled in the top two squares with white frosting and the second square on the left.  I used the black frosting to draw windows panes and scribble a Police Box message.  Voila!
Next, I went on a spree at Party City where I picked up TARDIS blue, white, and red decorations.  I transformed the red napkins into bow ties because bow ties are cool.  The napkins were very simply constructed and I decided to stick with making just 11 of them.  For reasons.  I folded each napkin over until I perfected the desired bow-like result and used a thin strip of construction paper and tape to complete the look and secure the bows in place.  Andrew drew on the red solo cups to give the appearance of Fez’s while they sat on the table waiting to be used, and he drew Police Box doors on the blue cups for TARDISes.  He also wrote Bad Wolf on the bathroom mirror so our guests could take some selfies.  Another photo station I wanted to set up involved hanging my TARDIS blanket in front of our living room closet.  Lastly, Andrew drew Silence faces, Daleks, and TARDISes on colored balloons which we hung behind the television.  Oh wait! We also hung TARDIS lights near the couch for added ambiance.
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The next baked good on the agenda were Adipose and Ood cupcakes.  I used a plain vanilla cake mix and frosting for the base and then began decorating.  I bought a bag of jumbo marshmallows and mini marshmallows to create the little Adipose.  I used the black frosting and icing tip to draw their faces onto jumbo marshmallows and then used frosting to hold the mini marshmallow arms in place.  The legs sit easily on the cupcake top in front of the jumbo body.  For the Ood faces, I used pull and peel twizzlers to create the hanging red tentacles on their faces.  I cut them into small segments and peeled them apart and used the icing to hold them in place.  I used even smaller segments for each of their eyes.
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The last item on the food menu was the Cassandra nacho dip.  I had seen a lasagna version online at some point but since I’m not a fan of pasta and this wasn’t a full dinner party, I thought that I could recreate the look with nacho dip and luckily I was right! I used this recipe for the initial dip and it was delicious!  I also bought a radish which I cut a slice of and then halved to use as eyes.  The black center was drawn on with icing (because I figured no one would be eating them anyway, but a nice alternative is a tiny black olive slice).  Then I cut the side off of a full sized tomato and used a knife to shape it into lips.
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