Maxing Out Our Time in Milan

From Venice we traveled north to Milan. I was psyched to see Milan and all of its fashionable inhabitants but I was also really looking forward to our day trip to Lake Como. We were in Milan for three days but I really count it as one and a half because we only went sightseeing the first day and the third morning we were there. This is what we did on those days!

A Few Days in Venice - Day Two

For day two/our last day in Venice it was back to sunny skies all day. We hit the road water and visited the Venetian islands of Murano and Burano. These islands were so tiny and fun to explore.

A Few Days in Venice - Day One

We only had a few days to spend in Venice during our two weeks in Italy in September. I really wish we would have added one more time though because wandering the canals and waterways was so much fun. It's like another world and was completely different than what we are used to. This is how we spent our few days in vivacious Venice.

Things for 2019

Alright, so this year didn't see quite the same amount of excitement as 2017 did but we still did manage to have what I think was a darn good year. This year I went to see Taylor Swift with my siblings, completed my very first Tough Mudder Half, celebrated my broski's 21st birthday in Las Vegas, tried a new activity, saw Christina Aguilera in concert, continued my family's paint party traditions, and spent two blissful weeks with my love in Italy

But now it's on to even bigger and brighter things in 2019 and I can't wait to see all that happens in the new year. Of course, it wouldn't be a new year without my "Things For" post. It's basically New Year's resolutions but slightly different. Let's see how badly I failed I did based on the goals I set back in January 2018. My "Things For" 2018 list included the following: 
  1. Travel to a new country and/or stateHooray! Checked this off both as a new state (Nevada) and a new country (Italy).
  2. Use one new never-before-used-on-the-blog polish per month. Let's January I swatched OPI Relentless Ruby; in February I swatched Sally Hansen Street Flair, in March  I didn't use any new polishes; in April I swatched Sinful Colors Alfresco; in May I didn't post at all; in June I didn't post any nails; in July I didn't swatch anything; in September I swatched OPI Italian Love Affair; in October I didn't swatch anything; in November I didn't swatch anything; and in December I swatched OPI Pompeii Purple. So all in all I did five new-to-the-blog polishes. Five out of twelve isn't toooo bad, right? Lol.
  3. Check at least five things off my Bucket List and two things off my 101 in 1001 list. From my bucket list I completed #126, #211, and #587 and from my 101 in 1001 list I completed #41, #90, #91. Since I completed two things from my 101 in 1001 list I'm going to mark this as completed. 
  4. Post a design for every major holiday: Valentine's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. Every single year I try to do this and every single year I fail.
  5. Review this list and create a list for 2019. Done! Hopefully I do better in 2019!
My Things for 2019 are going to be:
  1. Swatch at least one new-to-the-blog polish per month.
  2. Run at least 50 miles total this year.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat. Perhaps a meatless Monday or Fish Friday?
  4. Try at least one new activity. Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's new.
  5. Travel to at least one new country and one new state.

Do you make new year's resolutions? What are some of your goals for the new year?

Happy New Year: Best of 2018!

I bet you thought I would forget, didn't you? It's that time of year again--time for my annual Best Of post featuring my favorite nail designs that I did in the year prior. I did this for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, so there was no way I was letting this tradition stop.

I am happy to report that 2018 saw the exact same number of posts as 2017....73 strong. However, there were notably less nail-related posts in 2017. I am going to try to get back to doing at least a few more nail designs on the blog. After all, it is Nikki's Nail Files, after all. Anyway, here are my top 10 favorite manicures from 2018:

A Very Merry Christmas 2018 Recap

(Photo from here.)
I love the holiday season. My favorite part of the holidays is definitely the lead up to Christmas because that's when everyone seems to be in a better mood. There's decorating, yummy dinners, holiday treats, spending time with family and friends, exchanging Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree, and just general activities that really set up the holiday cheer. Today I wanted to share a little bit of what we've been up to the last few weeks.

A Christmas How-To: Finishing a Cross-Stitch Stocking

I am so excited to share this that I am interrupting my very belated and very drawn-out recap of Italy to bring you a little Christmas-inspired "How To" for the inquiring mind.
Based on recent experience, I realized that there is little no instruction or YouTube video about how to finish a cross-stitch stocking.
Backing and framing your finished cross-stitch project? Sure.
Whole lessons on how to do various types of stitches? You bet.
How to turn your stocking from aida to actual stocking? Nope.

I realize this a very niche topic and most people will absolutely not care in the slightest BUT for you lucky person out there that found this post after squiring the internet and finding a blasphemous lack of clear instruction for stocking stitchery, this is for you! To be fair, this post is also 100% selfish as I plan to use it for future reference if I ever make another stocking. If it's on the blog I can't lose it!

So here is how you do it.

Travel Day - Naples to Venice + Pompeii Purple Swatch

Ahhh, lord these delays are killing me. Well, let's pick up where we left off, shall we? The next day in our Italian anniversary trip was a travel day (read: a realllllly long train ride between Naples and Venice) so I don't really have that many worthwhile photos for this particular day to share. Notwithstanding this lack of blogworthy photos, I figure since last post was about Pompeii that now would be as good a time as any for some swatch photos of OPI Pompeii Purple....which is distinctly more pink than purple as it turns out....all while sprinkling in some travel day photos.

Plenty of Pompeii + Climbing Vesuvius

Our second day in Naples was filled with a trip to visit what was one of the most astonishing places I have ever been. Pompeii was no doubt a sight to behold in its heyday and continues to be even despite the very palpable history and sense of catastrophe that was with us as we explored the massive town. Walking into Pompeii it was clear that the town was so much more than rubble and overgrown grass we could see--it was a whole new world.

Signed, sealed, delivered....VOTED TODAY

For my American visitors, did you vote today?? 
As you may/should know, it's time for the midterm elections! I'll admit I'm not super political so it won't be shocking that there's not much no political debate here on the blog. I definitely don't want to change that but I will say that yes, I voted! And I even did a festive nail design afterwards. I was inspired by my presidential election nails from 2010 and wanted to try another election nail design. 

I hope you voted!
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