Sunday, January 25, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge - Week 22: Inspired by a Song

Now that we're back on track with the 31 Week Nail Art Challenge and I am posting the one specific week per week (rather than 4 weeks in one post!), I am so excited to be posting these nails. . . because honestly I just think they're incredibly awesome. Is it tacky to think your own nails are awesome?! Hmm. Anyway, for this week of the 31 Week Nail Art Challenge we have Week 22, a manicure Inspired by a Song. 

You guys know that I am awful with making decisions -- so choosing one song to inspire a manicure was pretty much impossible for me. Not surprising, right? I listen to a ton of different styles and bands because my music taste swings with my mood BUT I decided to create nails inspired by one of my newest obsessions. Have you ever heard of the band Halestorm? I saw them on September 27, 2014 with my little brother at a music festival in Baltimore. He was supposed to go with a buddy but then the friend wasn't able to make it, so natch I did my big sister duty of standing in when my brother has no one to go somewhere with. Apparently my broski has some good taste in music because I really enjoyed the Halestorm set and I decided to give their music a go when I got back home. Needless to say, I became a fan...hence Halestorm nails for this week! The band is also originally from PA (like I am) and their style is interesting to me because it's rock but it could also be classified as alternative metal (which I'm not really into so much). Moving on, the manicure I painted is in fact inspired by one song in particular: Love Bites (So Do I) from Halestorm's "The Strange Case Of..." record, which I've linked to below the photos. It's the first song on the record so it's the first song on the video if you watch it. I used the whole feel of the record for my inspiration but I added the hearts to the middle finger as a nod to the specific song, Love Bites (So Do I).

Not sure this is copyright legal but whatevs we're gonna roll with it. Their record was kind of all over the place so you will probably find at least one song you like on it! And who knows, you might  just become a super fan--or at least one who paints their nails a la Halestorm, like me! Also, they have a new record dropping in April!
I think I'll tweet these to the band's twitter account . . . see what happens! I'll keep you updated.
Thanks for looking!

Up Next: "Inspired by a Film." Hmmm....comment below if you have any ideas?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge: Week 20 - Inspired by A Color

Welcome to another episode of QUICK-POST-THIS-WEEK'S-CHALLENGE! For this week, we have "Inspired by a Color Nails" which was honestly a somewhat unhelpful prompt to work with. Where do you go with "inspired by a color"?? I checked around on other people's blogs to try and figure out how other people attacked this week's prompt. It turns out that I am not alone here in Question mark Town. Chalkboard Nails called it a tricky prompt and said "cmon, what does that even really mean?" Nails and Noms said it was a vague theme and that the whole first week was basically inspired by a color. I have to agree with both of them! However, there was at least one person, Manicurator, that actually liked this prompt (and did a STUNNING Caribbean colors inspired manicure to boot!)! Anyway, I looked around my apartment to see what color was lacking and I decided on pink. This manicure is what I came up with that is "inspired by pink."
 I used OPI I Eat Maine-ly Lobster for the base and then stamped Butter London La Moss (which I got in an Ipsy bag one month last year) with BundleMonster plate BM-207. I always forget how beautiful and simple stamping can be. Might have to start working in more stamping on this blog!
If you're doing this challenge, leave a link below so I can check your nails out!
Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I know I don't need any particular reason to be excited for that (being finished with school and work and having a nice weekend is quite enough) BUT I'm doubly thrilled for today to be Friday because Andrew is returning home tomorrow! Yes, he's finally coming home from Colorado and, although we are not living together, we'll be spending MOST of the weeks together. I'm so excited my heart is nearly bursting at the thought of having him home. Anyway, as I posted about previously, and even did a few posts last year or the year before, I want to restart my "Friday Favorites" posts. No, it won't be every Friday but it will be whenever I have new favorites that I want to share! Here are five things that I am favorite-ing right now:

Godiva Truffles
In particular, my favorites are these Ultimate Dessert Truffles. I have a serious sweet tooth and truffles (and ice cream) are my sweet of choice. I love truffles so much that Andrew always gives me a box for Valentine's Day! I mentioned how I was really craving a truffle the other day and Andrew had a set of these truffles delivered to my apartment as a surprise! I love him and these truffles....and I won't tell which/who I love more! Jk. Truffles can't love you back. The Ultimate Dessert Truffle box comes with such amazing flavors, too. Think about your favorite dessert. It's probably in this box. Tiramisu, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake, Cookie Dough, Creme Brulee, Strawberry Creme Tarte, Red Velvet Cake, Pineapple Hummingbird Cake, Chocolate Souffle, Chocolate Eclair, Cheesecake, Butterscotch Walnut, do I need to say more?! Mmmmm, sooooo good. Just don't look at the calorie count for any of them!!

Pretty much monogram anything is fantastic. For Christmas 2014 one of my presents from my parents Santa was a set of four appetizer plates with my initial. How cute are these?
I just love the mix of colors and designs. Polka dots? Me? Match made in heaven. And the chevron is so cute, too. I also got matching coasters.

Homemade Humus

I don't know about you guys but I am obsessed with chick peas. It started with me just putting them on my salads but then I realized I could make my own humus and that was the end. I whipped up a batch of homemade humus to go with some crackers and veggies today. So delicioussss!

PJ Sets
Call me lame or whatever but I actually think that matching PJ sets are just so girly and cute. Don't they make you think of childhood sleepovers?? I totally want this adorable Peter Alexander 50's Barbie pajama set because it takes me right back to when I was a little girl playing with barbies with my sister. We would play for HOURS. I would buy these pajamas but $99 is a tad ridiculous. Would they not be perfect though for when/if I stay overnight at Steph and Matt's new house? They could also function as my "comfy clothes" that I wear just to lounge around, watching movies, making dinner, and sipping wine. They look so comfy and chic to me. Am I alone in this?? I should hope not, I found a PJ as one of Lauren Conrad's friday favorites from a few weeks ago!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Congratulations to a couple of new homeowners!

Big news in the world of Nikki! My sister and her fiance (as you may recognize from various posts here on the blog) have officially become HOMEOWNERS! They closed on their first house yesterday and I got to visit later Friday night for the grand tour! Here is a shot of the happy homeowners:

They decided on an absolutely beautiful house two seconds from my parents' home (whoa, spread those wings guys!) which will be really convenient for when I visit home for holidays. They lived at home until they were 27 and 29 so they don't have much furniture but I believe they have moved all their miscellaneous belongings into the house by now. Ha, notice the lack of furniture in this photo I took:
Congratulations Steph and Matt on your new house! I can't wait to see it once you're all settled in!

Friday, January 16, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge: Weeks 17 through 20

Today's post catches me up to where I'm supposed to be in my 31 Week Nail Art Challenge so that I can do Week 21 on tomorrow! I decided to do one nail for each week's challenge manicure and then just have one shot (the previous post was picture heavy!). So for today's challenge I have Weeks 17-20: Glitter, Half Moon, Galaxies, and Water Marbled:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

31 Week Nail Art Challenge: Weeks 11 through 16

Phew, now that I was able to restart my blogging after quite a long's time to catch up on my 31 Week Nail Art Challenge!! As you may remember, I had left off my 31 Week Nail Art Challenge back on Week 10 (Gradient). That means I have to catch all the way up to where I'm supposed to be....which is Week 21 Inspired by a Color. Yikes! That's 12 manicures but I'm going to include a bunch in each post for a bit in order to catch up ASAP. Starting us off with this post, which includes Weeks 11 through 16.
First is Week 11: Polka Dot. You know how often I do polka dots in my designs. They're quick and easy and they always look nice. I decided to do a minimalist polka dot design and it turned out like this. Yes, because I'm obsessed with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel line I used both of the new polishes, B Girl and Hydro Electric. They go together really well and I had them on my desk. Easy peasy!
Next, is Week 12: Stripes. Not a huge fan of this because I kind of feel like it's boring. Again, I used Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in B Girl and Hydro Electric. What can I say? They were on my desk and I'm lazy! I also used a few stripers that I had from Color Club Art Club to add just a tiny but more blue. Obviously the manicure needed more blue right?
For Week 13: Animal Print, I'm not quite sure if I really pulled it off. I wanted to try to recreate one of my favorite designs from last year where I used a pale purple base with a purple holo animal print but this one just kind of came out BLEH. Does is look animal print-y to you?
Week 14: Flowers gave me a run for my money.  Who knew flowers could be hard. I wanted to use a bunch of different colors because I hadn't used many colors for my previous manicures and flowers are typically not least not usually. This is what I came up with for Flowers week:
Week 15: Delicate. I had no idea what exactly "delicate" means for a manicure. Lace? French? Pale colors? Pastels? I'm going to go with this manicure that I found in my files from November.
Week 16: Tribal. I'm also reusing a manicure from the vault that fit this too perfectly. I don't think I could have topped this tribal manicure even if I tried!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Swatch: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel B Girl - Colorado Surprise Part 2

As promised, today's post is the second polish that I snatched up in Colorado to save a dreadfully chipping manicure: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in B Girl. I know I was uber-pleased with the first polish and so excited to share it with you but this one is leaving a little to be desired. The polish is a tad streaky as you will see in the photos and it definitely didn't go on as nicely as the other. I know that streakiness is a common problem for any lighter colored shade but it's always annoying to have to keep putting layer after layer just to get good coverage. Anyway, here is the powder blue B Girl. Please excuse the streakiness....this was after 2 or 3 coats and I was running out of time!

Is there a polish you love but that has a huge streakiness problem? 
Comment below to let me know!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Swatch: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Hydro Electric - A Colorado Surprise! Part 1

While I was spending my week in Colorado after finals my nails were becoming increasingly chipped and I was becoming increasingly annoyed at their appearance. Enter target run with my boyfriend for emergency supplies. We were strolling along the nail polish choices and suddenly I located the Sally Hansen display. I had heard of her new "no light" Miracle Gel polish line but I had never stopped to pick any polishes up to try. This was partially due to my lack of funds and partially due to my lack of time. They're a bit steeply priced at about $8 USD per bottle but I was desperate for my nails to come back to their glorious nicely-polished-sans-chips condition and these polishes claimed a manicure that lasted "up to 14 days*" so I mustered up the mental energy and bought three -- er, two because I bought the top coat, too, and that doesn't count. I am so glad I purchased these babies! I bought two polishes and the gel top coat, which comes in a black bottle and is the super magnificient magic in a bottle that made this polish stay on my nails for a whopping 8 days without any major chipping! I know that's not the "up to 14 days" that the advertising claims but for me 8 days is UNHEARD OF. For real, it's a big deal. I'm sure you can relate (unless you have acrylic nails in which case you'd be sitting there like girrrrl I get my nails done and they last for WEEKS).

So anyway, I bought 340 Hydroelectric and 240 B Girl:
Both are absolutely stunning shades of blue. In the picture to the right Hydroelectric is on the right and B Girl is on the left. Also, loving my new camera....check out that photo quality! Finally my photos don't look like I caught my nails as they were running by a train window in the middle of the night.

I seriously am obsessed with this product line right now. Seriously. I might just have to buy them all. I will say that one minor thing was that it was a little difficult to get even coverage but with enough coats (and this dries shockingly quickly by the way) then you get a nice smooth even surface. Also, be SURE to hold off putting the top coat on for a little bit just because otherwise you could get some color transfer from your nails to the top coat brush....and we wouldn't want that to happen! I will swatch B Girl tomorrow or the next day when I have a moment but for now, feast your eyes on Hydro Electric:
 This photo is not photoshopped at all. It's literally that glassy and beautiful.

Gorgeous! Have any of you guys tried out the Miracle Gel polishes? Could you get it to last 14 days? Let me know which ones you have and how long they stayed chip-free in the comments below!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Update

Hi everyone!

As you can tell, I have been totally neglecting my blog recently. I am so sorry for that! I was preparing for finals and then I was away in Colorado and then celebrating the Holidays with my family, seeing friends, and going to a wedding so I was super busy (even my nail polish chipped and I failed to keep them well painted!!). I hope December was as fun for you all as it was for me! In order to try and make it up to you, let me share with you my December:

It started off with studying for finals. This was no fun and my apartment was covered in books, papers, notes, flashcards, outlines, and pretty much anything you can think of:
Not even 16 hours after my last final I was getting on a plane to visit the boyfriend in Colorado. As you know he had to go there for 6 months for work BUT he'll be back at the end of this month! I'm so excited for him to be somewhat local again. Colorado was an absolute blast! We went to see a Cartier exhibit at the Denver Art Museum that was incredibly gorgeous (think diamonds upon diamonds upon DIAMONDS!), walked through the Christmas lights at the Denver Zoo, had some delicious food, and visited the Olympic Training facility in Colorado Springs. We were pretty busy but it was so much fun and I really like Colorado.

After a week of wandering around Colorado I came home (with Andrew of course) back to the East Coast and we had a few days at our family homes to celebrate Christmas. I had decorated my apartment for Christmas but I never spend Christmas here so I don't think I get to enjoy it as much as I could! Especially since this year I left right after finals and didn't really get to see my tree other than a few days. I had decorated it with Andrew when he was here over Thanksgiving and I really like the way it turned out. I never can decide whether I like all white lights on the Christmas tree or multicolored lights on the tree. For this year I went with all white lights, multicolored garland, and a beaucoup amount of Christmas ornaments. I swear, the tree had soooo many ornaments on it. Christmas balls, Peanuts ornaments, snowflakes, glittery stars, etc. I really liked the way it ended up looking and adding the presents under the tree made Christmas feel like it was that much closer to coming!

I LOVE figuring out presents to buy people and I get really excited when all the packages start arriving at my apartment. I sort of feel like it becomes Santa's workshop, you know? I'm trying so hard to use up a specific roll of wrapping paper that I have been using for the last few years. I do most of my shopping online and I especially loved seeing this box, sent from Newegg, on my doorstep:
Anyway, then we packed up all the presents and carted them to my parents' house. We do the Italian tradition of Seven Fish on Christmas Eve (which is a tad sad because Andrew doesn't eat fish :) ) and I helped my mom prepare it this year. After Christms Eve dinner we headed to the midnight mass and then came home and everyone went to sleep. Because my family is pretty much all adults now (my younger brother will be 18 in a few months), we don't wake up around 5 am on Christmas morning like we used to. Instead, we all got in from Christmas Eve mass and slept in until around 10. Then we all had breakfast before making our way down to the family room to open presents. I may be an adult but I'm a sucker for presents. I love being spoiled I guess? I also love giving presents though too so I think it all evens out. After we finished opening presents we all just kind of relaxed....even the dog had a busy Christmas morning apparently:
Yes, he's sleeping on the couch (which isn't usually allowed but I was the only one down there so shhh no one needs to know!) using the headrest as a pillow. He's such a little person sometimes.

Then Andrew and I headed to a wedding a few days after Christmas so we had to come back to my apartment. A buddy of mine from the law firm I work at was getting married and invited both of us. The wedding was fun and it is always a good time when you get to dress up! The wedding had a photobooth where guests could try on all different hats, glasses, signs, etc to get some crazy photos. One of them was this one:
I don't have many photos of Andrew and I so I really like this one even despite the crazy colorful hats. I especially love Andrew's blue and dalmation pimp hat with his gray suit. So fashionable :) We were trying to make a heart with our hands...but it didn't really work out.

After the wedding we headed back up to our parents' homes (thank god they are so close together and only about an hour from me) for New Years where we had hors d'oevres at Andrew's parents' house and then spent the midnight celebration with my family, Steph's fiance, and her friend Kelly.

Then I had to drop Andrew at the airport a few days later so that he could return to Colorado :( It's only for a month though so I'm excited for his return. Finally, on the 7th I started back at school....and it snowed:
That pretty much brings everyone up to speed and hopefully you can all see why I've been away from my blog for so long! It's hard to paint my nails outside of my apartment and I never brought any polish with me anywhere! However, I did buy three polishes in Colorado because my nails just got disgusting looking (so chipped!) and I couldn't stand it. These polishes will be one of my first posts this year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year: Best of 2014!

HAPPY NEW YEARS TO EVERYONE! I hope 2015 brings your love, passion, fun, and excitement, and I'm thrilled to continue this blog for another year of experiences :) The year 2014 came to a close with a staggering 91 posts, the second highest amount in the 4 years I've been blogging. I was super excited to be able to go back through the year and select my absolute favorite nails of 2014! 

14. My 24th Birthday manicure from May

13. Holy Babies! baby manicure from June

12. This adorable purple polka dotted manicure from April

11. Color Smash manicure from March

10. Evil Eye manicure from March

9. My Juggling Balls manicure from January.

8. Cake Pop holo Valentine's Day mani from February

7. Steph's Wedding: Say Yes to the Dress manicure from August

6. My Peachy Keen Jelly Bean Easter manicure from April

5. Caviar manicure from February

4. Holographic Zebra manicure from February. I just loved the pizazz that the holo added!

3. The YinYang manicure I did in July when Andrew moved to Colorado for 6 months.

2. The gradient tiger manicure I did for Week 2 of the 31 Week Challenge!

And my absolute favorite post from 2014....*drumroll please*

1. My St. Patrick's Day nails from March