Saturday, August 12, 2017

Festive Summer Nails

Finally some nails on this site again! It's been a long while, no? For today I have these super festive summer nails to share. I really love the colors together and although this might be a bit too eye-catching for my mediation on Monday it is perfect for the weekend.
Oh and that cut on my pinkie? Yep, someone got a little too zealous with the orange stick and cuticle trimmer. I hate it when that happens!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Files turns 7!

And that makes seven, everyone! I can't believe The Files has been around for 7 years. It's lasted as long as the Gilmore Girls television series (one of my personal faves--I have seen all the episodes multiple times). For a bit of fun I scrolled through my blog toward the very beginning. It's so funny to read my posts and to look at the pictures (those were before my upgrade to a nicer camera).

Then I looked more at my recent posts. It's been a not-so-interesting year due to my general lack of posting, I don't really have any good excuse (that's life, right?). Between planning for the wedding, working full time (and then some), working out, trying to keep the home in order (uhm hello laundry piles and dishes in the sink!), and my overall laziness, keeping up with the blog this year has been a struggle. Long gone are the days of multiple nail posts per day and many posts per week. However, I have recently been re-inspired by this little blog and am hopeful that I will return to a more active posting schedule.

One thing I have always liked about this blog is that it no one judges it. I really enjoy that I can post whatever I want whenever I want.  Although it's not AS FOCUSED on nail designs any more, nail polish continues to be the driving force behind this blog. I hope you all continue to check back often and share my blogging journey. Talk to you on the next post!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Paint Night with my Sister

I was on Facebook a few weeks ago and I saw that one of our local Painting With a Twist locations was doing a Beauty and the Beast themed painting of the rose. My sister is a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and so I thought it would be a really fun time we booked our seats.

If you've never been to Painting with a Twist, then it's pretty simple. They offer a painting and people show up to try their hands at creating something similar. And of course, you drink wine. I brought some super cute mini moscatos that had been hanging in my fridge.
 Ah, the beginning. A blank canvas, my mini wine (it's like an adults-only-water-bottle), and some paint ready for an artistic adventure.

Which became a blue and black egg shaped design with white specks.
This is a sneaky shot I took of my sister working on her masterpiece.
 And our finished project . They're not so bad, right?!
Maybe I should just stick with nail It was a really fun experience though and we spent the next hour or so looking at all of the paint nights available in our area.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bridezilla Mode...Activated

As many of you know I am getting married in September.  Planning a wedding, I've been told, is a stressful endeavor. There are so many things to consider.

  • Do we go with this DJ or that DJ? (hint, just pick one they're all playing the same playlist). 
  • Do we go with these flowers or those flowers? (hint, who cares? They die anyway and no one cares about them.) 
  • What do we give as favors? 
  • What about the cake? 
  • What about the linens? 
And, of course, let's not forget about the dresses, dresses, dresses! There's the bridal gown, bridesmaids' dresses, Mother of the Bride dress, Mother of the Groom dress, flower girl dress, and all the dresses in between for the rehearsal dinner and bridal shower. Well, as if the wedding planning isn't time consuming and stressful enough, let us add this little development in, shall we?
I'll just let that sink in a little.

Everyone has so much advice for brides to be about what colors to go with, how to wear your hair, who should be in your bridal party, etc. Well, I would like to hear some advice on what to do when your damn dress store goes out of business. Now, don't let me fool you. I have all of MY stuff. I have my bridal gown and all accessories. My mothers of the bride/groom have their dresses. And my four bridesmaids? Well three of them have their dresses. What I do not have is ONE.DAMN.BRIDESMAID.DRESS. 

Long story short: My girls all ordered (and paid in full for) their dresses in March -- I was there when they ordered them. Then the dresses arrived in May (May 14th to be exact) and all of my girls were called by the store and told to come and pick their dress up. Three of my bridesmaids can follow directions and did just that. They picked their damn dress up. The last bridesmaid, however, was apparently too busy to pick it up that weekend. No problem, right? She'll go another time, right? WRONG. For two entire months she failed to find 35 minutes to go and pick up the dress. (By the way the store tells you that you have to pick up your dress within 2 weeks of it coming in when they call you).

Then, on the darkest day in July (July 14th to be exact) Alfred Angelo nationwide CLOSED. Like bye bye see you never. Peace out. Out of business. Shut the door and throw away the key. And guess what? That dress that my stupid bridesmaid was too lazy to go and get despite it being 6 weeks until my wedding and despite the dress having arrived two months ago.....yeah, that dress was hanging somewhere inside the now closed store. It and the perfect wedding I had in my mind being held captive from my unfortunate, desperate, and out-of-luck grasp.

I have no idea what to do. I need her dress and I'm pissed as hell that she didn't think to go and get it. Sure, who could foresee the store declaring bankruptcy and closing? I'll give her that. But who leaves something they already paid for just sitting at a store for TWO months? I mean really? REALLY? There have been reports that some Alfred Angelo stores shipping the dresses that had already arrived in the store prior to the closing but this has not been confirmed by my particular store. So I have no idea (1) where her dress is, (2) whether it will be shipped to me, or (3) when we might receive it. And my wedding is in less than 60 days. 

So moral of the story? Next time someone starts complaining about wedding planning and bullshit details like napkin color or who to sit next to weird Uncle Dan I'm going to look them in the eye, smile, and say "let me tell you a story..." Because I'm pretty sure whatever you hated about planning your wedding was nowhere near this level of catastrophe. AMIRIGHT?

I'm Nikki. And things just happen to me to keep my life interesting. Well, hey, positive thoughts are key: At least I won't be the one walking naked down the aisle.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Happy 60th to a Special Someone!

Oh my gosh. I remember when she didn't want to become a red hatter while celebrating her 50th birthday. Now, 10 years later, we are celebrating her 60th birthday! Yes that's right, I'm talking about my mom. To celebrate her big 6-0 we went pottery painting. My whole family painted dessert plates that honestly sort of shows our personality in each one.
Andrew and I painted pottery in 2015 as part of my 101 in 1001 list. Our new plates look like this:

Mine is on the left. It's a blue and white animal print design similar to the one I painted with Andrew in 2015. Except this time it's zebra instead of leopard. I can't wait to show you the fully finished one (this photo is before they shellac it and stick it in the kiln to get all glossy). I think it will go well with the one I already have. Andrew's plate is on the right. A tri-color design that, like him, is simple and efficient. I'll update this post with the final products.

Happy 60th Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July to all my Americans!
I may not have a super fantastic nail design on my fingernails BUT I actually really liked the way my pedicure turned out. Red, white, and blue with stars?? Can you be more patriotic? I will be spending this Fourth of July eating grilled food with my family and watching as many fireworks displays as possible. I hope all my Americans have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Wedding Invitations Arrived

Ahh, our wedding invites arrived! 
I searched and searched online and finally found a design I loved at Paper Source. They are seriously GORGEOUS. It's funny because it literally took us four hours to design them with the Paper Source designer. FOUR.HOURS. But what can I say? It was worth it.
I am obsessed. We were going for a traditional and classic invite without a bunch of colors. If fact, it ended up being silver, white, and dark gray. This is what the full suit looks like:
Because of the silver foil we went plain for the details and rsvp cards. However, leaving the trifold alone looked unfinished. We decided to do a ribbon band with a stamped and embossed monogram of our last initial. That was the only thing we had to assemble ourselves but believe me it took forever. First we (I) had to cut 80 portions of the blue ribbon. Then I had to cut equal amounts of the silver ribbon. Then we had to punch out the bigger black squares. Then we had to punch out the smaller silver squares. Then we had to stamp each one, layer the powder, and use the embossing gun (which is super fun BTW and that might get a post of its own) and then we had to adhesive it all together. We wanted the monogram to be attached the band of ribbons but make it so the band of ribbons would slide off the invite.
And then this is what the invite looked like before it was ready to be stuffed in the envelope. We printed the envelopes in a faux calligraphy (calligraphy is SO expensive I found out and I was too chicken to try to DIY that).
Apologies for the poor photos. I only used my good camera for some of them! Alright, so we have to get these in the mail and then start the nail-biting-inducing process of waiting for the rsvps to roll in!

Monday, June 19, 2017

My Parisian Themed Bridal Shower

Yet another wedding-related post. I promise we're almost finished with all the wedding-related stuff and I'll go back to just nails (and then some). But for now, I'm sharing a peek into my bridal shower! My bridal party planned a *surprise* Parisian-themed bridal shower for me. It was nice to see everyone and I was blown away by the fact that one of my closest college buddies showed up -- she had to drive 3 hours each way! Unfortunately, I don't have the digital files for photos so we'll have to do the whole photo-of-a-photo thing.
Full disclosure, it was not really a surprise. Hence I wore the white pants. The rouse was that Andrew and I were going to lunch with my future in-laws. The problem was not that we never go to lunch with them--it was that we do that somewhat often and we only ever go to one restaurant (it's my father-in-law's favorite). So when Andrew told me we were going somewhere else I was immediately suspicious. It was easy to put 2 and 2 together and I decided to wear white pants because that was bridal but non-committed in case I was wrong. After all, it's summer and people wear white all the time.

It was a buffet brunch with mimosas and delicious food. Andrew's family was there, my family was there, my friends, and my mom's friends, too. And how cute is this little cake?! The black bow? So precious! They also gave out Eiffel Tower cookies and a compact mirror with an Eiffel Tower as favors.
Overall, it was a nice time. The opening presents while everyone watched me was a little awkward and I got SO MANY KITCHEN things I could open a second kitchen. By far the best gifts were the Himalayan sea salt lamp (from my future sister-in-law) and the creme brulee set (my college buddy).
 One step closer to the wedding!

Monday, June 5, 2017

One Love Manchester

Yesterday I, like many people, tuned in to watch the One Love Manchester benefit concert organized by Ariana Grande after a terrorist attack occurred in connection with her Dangerous Woman tour performance two weeks ago in Manchester, England. I posted these nails to my Instagram today as a show of support to Ariana, her fans, and everyone else who came together to show "One Love"
If you had not heard, a bomb went off as concert goers were leaving the concert...leaving innocent concertgoers dead and many more injured. My heart dropped when I heard the news because my sister and I went to see this tour when it was at Madison Square Garden in New York in February. It's a little too close to home and it's a shame we live in a world where this behavior actually happens. I send my thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. We all deserve better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

20th Birthday for the Broski

It's not every day your little brother enters into his roaring 20s so my family decided to celebrate by going to where some real roaring happens...the zoo! He's not really one for big hullabaloos and he's fine with pretty much anything so this was the perfect celebration for him. My favorite part of any zoo is always the big cats. I think it's because when I used to work late nights (9 pm to 4 am) I would sleep all day and my sister would call me a lion. If I could pick any animal to be it would probably be a type of big cat, such as this tiger!
I mean, who doesn't want to lounge around and snooze all day?? Where do I sign up? The zoo also has this really cool network of overhead tunnels that the big cats can roam through. I caught this one picking a shady spot up near the trees for a snooze.
My second favorite part would be the zebras. I would guess this surprises nobody because zebra strips is one of my go to nail designs. What can I say? It's easy and always looks good! If you don't believe me check out my old zebra nail posts here, here, here, and one of the super old ones here. Also, a little Nikki's Nail Files trivia for you...a zebra pedicure was included as one of my very first blog posts all those years ago!
He's not one for photos but we were able to get him to join us for a photo with a giant kangaroo.
And of course the day ended with cake. Like I said, Broski isn't one for photos and definitely won't be caught taking a selfie with me (WAHH!) so I have to seize the opportunity when I have it!
Happy 20th Birthday Broski! 
I hope you have a fantastic year!

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Birthday!

Alright everyone, it's time to celebrate a birthday here on The Files....mine! Unfortunately, I had a host of job duties and responsibilities to tend to before I could celebrate yesterday. But in a serendipitous twist one of those job duties took me into the city. The fiance works in the city so we planned to meet up for dinner. The fiance surprised me by taking me a sushi restaurant that was SO GOOD. I mean really, so good.
We ordered so much because I wanted to try it all. For appetizers, we ordered dumplings and vegetable tempura. Then I ordered a rainbow roll and the bronzizzle roll. Have to say, I'm not sure I like bronzino...but the rest was delicious.
And of course we had to order dessert. Luckily, the restaurant's desserts were small, and we were able to try a bunch of treats to test out. We settled on the fluffernutter dumplings (Andrew ate all of those though), a delicious Japanese dessert called moshi, and, naturally, creme brulee (because...yum),
The moshi was a strawberry ice cream wrapped in rice paper so it was chewy on the outside. As if I haven't said this enough during this post....everything was delicious!
All in all I had a great birthday. And my handsome fiance gave me a great gift! He gave me a new camera lens! So I'll be going out and taking some photos ASAP to try it out!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Happy Wedding Day! Wedding Recap

You may remember my buddies Sarah and Alysia from when they got engaged, or when Sarah asked me to be her Maid of Honor, or maybe Sarah's bridal shower, or maybe even her bachelorette party. Either way, there has been a lot of Sarah's wedding on this blog recently! I am so psyched to say that they are officially MARRIED as of May 6, 2017!!

The ceremony took place at 4:30 PM on May 6, 2017, and it was outside in a park. It rained a bit during the morning while we were getting ready BUT the weather was perfect for the ceremony. They had a guitarist/instrumentalist play music while all of the guests were waiting and then also to play the processional for the bridal party.

The reception was at a local Moose Lodge that Alysia's father belongs to. The brides and their families decorated the whole venue themselves, including hanging tulle and twinkling lights from the ceiling, perfecting the table settings, and putting out all the lawn games, favors, and activities.
The day began at 8:20 AM when I had to run a last minute Maid of Honor errand. The girls had written each other letters to read while they were getting ready but Sarah forgot hers. I had to fetch it from Alysia. Then I met up with Sarah and her bridesmaids to head to the salon to get our hair and makeup done. Sarah had the cutest little wine glass tumblers for us as a thank you surprise.
This is a sneak peak I took after my hair and makeup was done (and the tumblers Sarah gave us):
Then we ran back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. I helped Sarah into her dress, tied the corset (which is no walk in the park let me just tell you), put on her jewelry and off we went. The girls got ready at separate locations but we were all taking the same limo so we had to blindfold both brides so they wouldn't ruin the surprise. Obviously I took the time to sneak another selfie.
Then we did the whole walk-in-and-go-to-your-place thing. They took their blindfolds off shortly before walking down the aisle. How pretty are both of these girls?
By the way, LOL at Andrew photobombing two of these photos. Crackin' me up!
Also, not gonna's not the most attractive photo of me that I've seen.

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. I held the rings, Sarah's bouquet, her vows, tissues, my Maid of Honor speech, and who knows what else. Thank goodness for being able to stow them in my cleavage. 
Oh my god, originally Sarah and Alysia were on opposite sides (Sarah being closer to our side) but during the opening wine toast between the brides and their parents...Sarah's dad may have spilled some red wine ON ALYSIA'S DRESS! They switched sides so you wouldn't see it in the photos. Finally they made it through their vows (some tears were shed) and were pronounced Mrs. and Mrs.!
Then off they went to the reception!
The reception decorations looked like this:
These were some of the decor items: card/gift table, centerpiece, and they even decorated the hanging moose head (lol)...
As Maid of Honor I gave a toast. It talked about Sarah, when I met Alysia, and a quote that perfectly summed up their relationship. I won't give away too much but it ended with me saying this:
I am so honored to have stood by your side today. 
I wish you all the best, every happiness you can imagine,
and I can't wait to see where your life journey takes you together. 
I hope everyone will join me as I raise my glass and Mrs. and Mrs. (last name)!
Later in the night, the girls cut the cake, which ended up in Alysia's face....
But seriously, how gorgeous is this cake? A friend of theirs made it!
And finally here's a shot of Andrew and I:

And the rest is history! We had so much fun at their wedding and I am so honored to have served twice now as a Maid of Honor.

Andrew and I have another wedding in June for one of Andrew's best friend's brothers. Obviously I'm not Maid of Honor for that wedding! But for real, being in a wedding and being Maid of Honor can be quite stressful (but fun!). It will be nice to just be a guest for the next wedding who gets to sit and enjoy the show!

Then after the June wedding it looks like mine is next! And then who knows, maybe my next friend who gets married will make me a Matron of Honor and three time MOH!

Phew time to sleep now! This was such a long post!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Swatch: Red Carpet Manicure Simply Adorable

Oh my gosh Sarah gets married tomorrow! Naturally, I have to do a bit of pampering and getting ready for the wedding, which includes doing my nails! I was lucky to find the perfect light pink polish for the wedding. Where did I find it? Red Carpet Manicure from Ulta makes a gel polish called Simply Adorable, which is a subtle light pink. Here are some swatches of the polish:
I can't wait to celebrate Sarah's wedding tomorrow! But until then, I have to shower, look over the speech, and get my clothes and accessories ready for tomorrow! Ahhhh so excited!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Swatch: Gelish Mini Passion

My sweetheart and I will celebrate our SEVEN YEAR anniversary on April 24th! I'll put a detailed post up about it later but if you've been reading this blog for a while you probably know exactly what we're going to do. When it comes to our anniversary we are very traditional and try not to stray too far. I can't believe this will be our last time celebrating an April anniversary since we're getting married in September. Anyway, let's get back to the reason for this post....a swatch of one of my new gel polishes! You know I've been looking for the perfect light pink polish for my friend's wedding and let's just say I couldn't resist buying some gel polishes in some other colors too! This one is by Gelish Mini and is the color "Passion," which is a really fun bright pink that is perfect for the warmer weather in spring and summertime.
Gelish Mini; Gel polish; Passionl nail blog
I cannot tell you how much I love gel polish. It is SO convenient because it has NO dry time. Seriously, you can have a complete manicure in about 15 minutes and you don't have any drying/hardening time. You can't beat it!
The only thing that drove me nuts about this polish was that you could still see some darn visible nail line, despite doing two coats. It wasn't visible ALL the time but in certain light you could definitely see it.
This is a photo that I took without any light source.  Notice how I forgot to cap my index finger? oops! 
See what I'm saying about the visible nail line? It's not so bad but still, very annoying.