What I got for Christmas: 2016

In reality, I'm an entirely too nosy person. I enjoy watching everyone's "What's In My Bag" videos, "What I got for Christmas/my birthday" videos, and reading all their haul posts. So, naturally, Christmas is a time to jump in on that, yes? Yes! So, here is what I got for Christmas 2016. This is not the best quality photo:
Too much! My family always spoils each other wayyy too much. From my parents I received a beautiful new crossbody bag (will come in handy for my upcoming honeymoon!), nail polish, a travel book on London (again, will come in handy for the honeymoon!), outlet adapters (lol, honeymoon again), and backup Nikon camera batteries (I now have three!). They also got me some toys (LOL) including a spirograph drawing kit and dueling RC tanks (which of course Andrew and I played with immediately). Sometimes you just have to act like a child again, am I right? They also got me this beautiful puzzle and storage thingy. You know how "completing a 1000 piece puzzle" is on my bucket list? Now I can get started with that!
Among the things my sister and brother in law got me is this fantastic blanket. Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie (possibly tied with Mulan) so it was a perfect choice. I think I moved my camera too quickly after I took the photo so it's a little wonky but you get the picture! The colors are so vibrant and I just love that it's my favorite Disney movie!
My brother got me an equally thoughtful gift this year....a UV light for my gel polishes!
I can't wait to use it but honestly I'm a little intimidated by it. Obviously I'm not a professional nail technician over here and I think the instructions cautioned that only professionals should use it! Has anyone used one of these? What are the risks of using it when you have no idea what you're doing? Ahhh, I'll figure it out I guess! I'll definitely do a post about it when I use it.
Much like everyone else, Andrew was far too generous as well. He got me such a variety of gifts that I couldn't even attempt to guess what they were!
Among the gifts he got me was an adult coloring book and colored pencils. I'm excited because I feel like coloring as an adult is such a good, zen activity. It quiets the mind and you can just think about nothing.

He also gave me a pair of wireless headphones, nail polish, a professional grade whipped cream canister, and a fancy Swarovski pen (which I am now obsessed with).

I also got myself a few prezzies for Christmas:
Now you may be asking "What did you give for Christmas?" too. And here's that list:
My father and mother both received an ornament(s) of some kind, as well as a cozy new blanket for my mom and a new Sudoku daily calendar for my dad.

My older sister received a shredder. Now, before you start making fun of me for giving the absolute lamest gift ever...I was told she wanted one and she actually really liked it! I got my brother-in-law some rum from a local distillery and some truffles from their favorite truffle maker, Lindt.

Then for my younger broski I gave him his favorite Andes mints, a pair of pikachu pajama pants, and a third thing that I honestly cannot remember? Hmm, what was it?! This is going to drive me nuts now!

Finally, for my future husband, I gave him a Scrabble board, shoes, moleskine notebook, new dishtowels (the kid is weird, just kidding!), and some chocolate too.

So that's it! Catch you for my next post!

101 in 1001: Answering the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

One day I was randomly googling and I somehow came across The 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind on a website. I was intrigued but too busy to read/answer them all at the time so I added them to my 101 in 1001 list that I was making at the time. Well, it's now 2017 and what better time than now to complete the 50 questions? Here they are: (Note: this actually took way longer than anticipated to complete!)

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Probably about 60-70? My hobbies include watching Jeopardy!, cross-stitching, and cooking/baking. I will be a really good grandma someday.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Never trying.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Hmm, pressure from others/society?
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Absolutely. But I'm working on that. Hence the 101 in 1001 list and my bucket list!
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? The way people interact with each other.
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Traveling, photographing my travels, and sharing my life on this blog!
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? Hmm, this is deep and I'm not sure. Obviously being a lawyer is not what I would choose to do if I could choose anything in the world to do...but it's good for now.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I wouldn't worry so much about setting up my future and probably would live a lot more in the moment.
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? About 40-60%?
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Doing things right...but who decides what "right' is?!
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? I would probably point out a few good things about the person. I don't like when people talk badly of others and I wouldn't go along with it.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Do you man. Make yourself happy.
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Absolutely.
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? I don't think so. Not in my actual life. I think Picasso showed some insanity but also creativity.
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? I'm really good at seeing how things will happen and be able to anticipate things.
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? Different strokes for different folks. We're not all the same!
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back? Traveling the world and experiencing a life other than the one I'm used to. I'm being held back because traveling isn't free!
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Yes. Without a doubt.
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I would move to Colorado. As you know, my fiance lived there for 6 months and I got to visit a couple of times. The state itself was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and the people there seemed so much nicer and more friendly than the people on the East Coast. There was so much to do in Colorado and I would love to live there if I had the opportunity.
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? I do not push the elevator button more than once. I also don't use the button that closes the door. I don't think either of those actually do anything.
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? Joyful simpleton.
  22. Why are you, you? A combination of nature and nurture of course. I'm a beautiful mix of my life's experiences, the people who have come and gone, and a product of the society I live in.
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? I think so.
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? Losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you. Because then there's really no good reason for the growing apart other than you're too lazy to keep the relationship going.
  25. What are you most grateful for? My sweetheart to-be husband who makes me a better person and opened my eyes to a world outside my own.
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I don't know. Both would be awful!
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? Yes.
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? No.
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? I don't remember a time 5 years ago. I can remember a time 1-2 years ago and yes it still matters. In 3 years it probably won't.
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? All of my gymnastics memories. Those make me so happy because I was doing something I loved and really enjoyed and I was having success doing it.
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Not sure.
  32. If not now, then when? Gymnastics. Probably my one true passion.
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? I don't know.
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? No, I don't think so.
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Because the religion also supports only that one religion as being the correct religion?
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? I don't think so. I think you need to know context around the situation in order to decide what is good and evil.
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Yes.
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? More work that I actually enjoy doing.
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Yes.
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? All the time when I go into court.
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Every single person I could. Starting and ending with my family.
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? I don't think so. I'd rather have the years.
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Truly living is doing more than just going through the motions. 
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? All the time.
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Because making a "mistake" means we did something wrong...and no one likes feeling like they did something wrong and should have acted differently.
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Hmmm, I'm not sure.
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Just now.
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? My life (most of the time).
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? No, they were both work days and I probably won't remember them past six months from now...
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? I'm trying to make them.
If you answer these questions send me a link so I can read your responses!

Things for 2017

I cannot believe I just typed 2017 in the title of this post. Can you believe it? It's 2017! I remember when we celebrating the turn of the millennium in 2000! Now it's been 17 years since then?? Ugh. As I do every year, I go through and look at the list of things I set out to achieve/do over the previous year and to come up with a new replacement list of things I would like to accomplish/do this year. Let's take a look at last year's list, shall we?

Here are the 6 "Things I'd Like to Do During 2016". I wonder how I did...
  1. Swatch at least 10 polishes. Looks like I swatched only 8 polishes! Ahhh so close!
  2. Complete a Valentine's Day, Easter, Anniversary, Birthday, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and NYE manicure. Ah, I missed Thanksgiving! Although, my nails were painted for Thanksgiving so I guess we could count that? My NYE haven't made it to the blog yet BUT they are on Instagram!
  3. Complete at least one Wishlist Wednesday OR Friday Favorites each month. Nope, didn't get this done...not even close.
  4. Secure legal employment. Completed!
  5. Make a 101 in 1001 list and make some progress. List made and progress recorded! Check out my 101 in 1001 list to see how I'm doing!
  6. Review this list and create a 10 Things for 2017! Completed! Although I'm just going to put five things this year. My 101 in 1001 list will make up the rest!
I think for next year I'll list five things.
  1. Travel more.
  2. Do one swatch post per month.
  3. Try a new manicure technique.
  4. Check things off my 101 in 1001 list and bucket list.
  5. Review this list and create a list for 2018 (and try not to be shocked that it's 2018!)

Happy New Year: Best of 2016!

Hooray, we're moving into another year and I'm still blogging! It's time for one of my absolute favorite posts since I get to go back through my year here on the blog and select my top 10 favorite designs. This year I had a blog record of over 100 posts so it was very fun picking out the best ones. Previous Best Of posts were posted in 2015, 20142013, 2012, 2011,   Let's get started!

10. My Black and Yellow Toetally Tuesday mani/pedi combo posted in April. This was such a cheery and easy design. Definitely had to put it as one of my faves! It makes me smile just looking at it!
9. Colored leopard nails from our trip to the pottery painting place in January to complete one of my 101 in 1001 list items!
8. The pink and purple Easter Egg design from March.
7. The simple but oh-so-cute Candy corn manicure from October! These petite candy corn pieces were really simple to do but they looked so festive!
6. Monarch butterfly manicure from July. The gradient base of the accent nail was the best gradient I have ever managed to do. It went from blue to subtle green to yellow to orange to pink seamlessly.
5. The Gradient Peacock nails from January. This year was a great year for gradient nails here on The Files.
4. My holo hombre from February. Seriously. This holo was unbelievably gorgeous in the sunlight! I would just stare at my nails if light would hit them.
3. My Let it Snow manicure from January! Ok so, it might not have snowed a ton this past winter (or maybe it did) but these nails sure made me think of a snow day!
Nikki's Nail Files, Snowman Manicure
2.  My champagne bubbly manicure to celebrate last New Year's! Ok, these nails were actually posted on December 31, 2015, so maybe they can't be used in my 2016 Best Of but still, I loved this design and I think it deserves a place on this list! Hey, my blog, my rules!
And last but not least, my all time favorite nail design from 2016! These stunningly vibrant and spectacular water marble manicure that I did as part of my OPI Color Paints product review post! How beautiful are the colors?!
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