Reading, Watching & Swatching - Valiantly Varnished Week in Review

Happy Friday all. This post is the first of what I am aiming to be a permanent fixture here on VV. I have so many interests outside of nail art and polish and wanted to find a way to include them in the blog without beating you all over the head with them. And sooo...I came up with the idea of a weekly round up post of what I've been reading, watching- and swatching throughout the week.  var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-41312601-1']); _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', '']); _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

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My week started off with a bang! On Sunday, the 3rd season of Sherlock Holmes finally premiered here in the States. I thought the premiere episode was good. Not fabulous or amazing, but good. I especially loved (and missed) the humor and chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. I am also bummed that we only get three episodes this season! What the heck is that?! My favorite moment had to have been this one at the beginning of the show. How hot is this scene, seriously?
Photo courtesy of Fox
One of my other favorite shows, Sleepy Hollow had it's season finale on Monday. If you have never seen this show let me at first warn you that it is nothing like the classic Sleepy Hollow tale. But don't let that trouble you because the show is awesome! It was a great season finale and with the way things ended I am really excited to see how the two leads, Ichabod Crane and Abby Mills, get out of their respective conundrums next season!
Photos courtesy of
Every year I participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. The idea is to set a goal at the beginning of each year for how many books you will read. You track your progress via the website. Goodreads is one of my favorite sites. It's a great way to discover new books, keep a list of books you would like to read, are currently reading, and recommend books to friends. Each year I try to up my game. My goal last year was 29 books and I met it, so I decided to increase my 2014 goal to 31 books. I am currently reading book number four. Yes, I have read three books already in the month of January. I am a faster reader and I always feel a little adrift if I am not reading a book. This week I finished The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. If you love spies, thrillers and mysteries I think you will like this book. I really got into mysteries last year and am always looking for good ones. This is the first in a series, and I have added the second book to my "to-read list".  I am now reading The Ocean At The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favorite authors. I am about twenty percent into it and it feels very different from his other stories. I'm eager to see where it goes.
Photo courtesy of Crowdstar Games
I have a new obsession called Covet Fashion. It is a game app that is all about fashion and shopping. So perfect for me since I love both of those things! Seriously though, it's become a problem. I may need an intervention because I can't stop playing it! Check it out if you have an iPhone, iPad or Android. It's free to download. Just don't blame me when you find yourself obsessing over it!
I haven't done a haul post in awhile I realize- I do plan on remedying that in the future, I promise! I did receive some awesome nail mail over the last week. Here is a swatch of Zoya Payton that I posted on Instagram. I love this color so hard! I also finally got around to swatching Color Club Love Em' and Leave Em'. This has been sitting untried, in my nail polish drawer since I bought it way back in October. I love the soft subtle holo effect this has, so pretty! 

Photo courtesy of
This crazy weather has been so hard on my nails lately. My nails and -45 degree temps don't mix. I had finally grown out my last break when I wound up breaking the same nail in a freak accident involving my chair and desk at work. So my nails are short again. I'm thinking of just keeping them short until winter is over and sparing myself another heartbreak.  
Photo courtesy of Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune 
And this is what the city looks like right now. Minus the off and on snowfall. This is hands downs one of the coldest winters Chicago has ever had. I am so over it. And we have 8 weeks left! Lord, help me!

I hope you all liked this post, I would really love some feedback on what you think of it!