Holiday Nails!

Inspired by Ladies and Lace’s Festive Nails post, here’s my holiday nails!

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They definitely did not turn out as nice as I wanted but I will get into the details of that a little later on.

I used a shimmery red polish and a shimmery silver for this. Additional hardware includes top coat and masking tape.

Start with your base coat and two coats of the red. Make sure this dries thoroughly. You could even let it go overnight if you really wanted, just to make sure it’s really completely dry.

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Next, I used masking tape to mark where I wanted the line of the silver to go. This was where part of my mistake was. Rip the tape in half length-wise so you can use both flat edges and have much less tape to manage around your fingers. The full width made it extremely cumbersome and hard to work with. It also did not stick to my nails as thoroughly as I wanted it to- presumably because it was so big.

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Add two coats of your color block. Again, I used a shimmery silver.

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Wait for the silver to dry COMPLETELY before removing the tape. This was my other big mistake. I got really impatient and tried to take the tape off and it just smeared everything. Of the 4 nails I did this to, I only had one really clean line.

Once the silver is completely dry and you have removed the tape, add your topcoat and you’re good to go. Holiday nails!

Yep, that's an engagement ring. Saving that bit for a future post!

Yep, that’s an engagement ring. Saving that bit for a future post!

Christmas Date – Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Christmas has been in the air since before Thanksgiving here in Chicago. I don’t like to cross my holidays, though, so I always insist on waiting until after Thanksgiving to partake in anything Christmas related. one of my favorite holiday traditions is going to a light display at one of the two zoos in the Chicago area. ¬†This year, we ventured to Lincoln Park Zoo for a holiday date night that will be difficult to beat.

The evening started at a lovely little Thai place called Noodles in the Pot. They have a particularly delectable Panang noodle curry that involves deep fried noodles, tofu, and veggies smothered in Panang curry sauce. It is a heavenly dish that I will travel to this specific restaurant to get.

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Full of delicious food and ready for a holiday adventure, my lady and I set out on the short jaunt from the restaurant to the zoo, admiring the gorgeous Lincoln Park houses on the way, musing about living in them, enjoying seeing everyone’s Christmas trees in their windows, and generically getting into the holiday spirit. It may have been chilly but our chatter and holiday excitement kept the cold at bay.

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Practically on the Lakeshore, Lincoln Park zoo offers gorgeous views of the skyline, some amazing animals (though many were elsewhere hiding from the cold and the massive amounts of people — can’t say I blame them), and during December, simply stunning holiday lights.

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We stumbled around the main strip for a while, taking in the lights and meeting a friend with a particular proclivity for pink.

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With something new to discover, we couldn’t just hang around in any one particular spot. We had to jump everywhere!

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They had an ice sculptor doing some demonstrations. His work was stunning! The sculptures sparkled even in the night like massive diamonds.

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We wandered through some houses in hopes of meeting a big cat. Instead, we got to see this massively gorgeous tree!

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We stopped and looked at some other beautiful lights- some of which were actually light shows timed to 30 second snippets of holiday songs — just long enough to keep an excited child’s attention.

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And then we made our way to the most exciting part of the evening- the ice skating. The rink was on the complete opposite end of the zoo so we paused for some shots of our stunning skyline. I was reminded, if for a brief moment, that while I live where the air sometimes hurts my face, the beauty of it all really makes up for frostbite from time to time.

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And then we made it to the rink. I’ll be the first to admit that, while I like to think I have balance, all bets are off when it comes to putting me on two thin strips of metal and shoving me onto a surface of frozen slippery water. The mere act of staying upright was pretty difficult but I managed to only actually fall once. There were more than a few close calls, though!

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We huddled up with some hot cider to warm up after looping the rink countless times, went back out for a few more loops, and returned our skates before looping back to the rest of the zoo to see more lights before the end of our night.

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We made our way back home after a fantastic evening, ready to cuddle up under some warm blankets.

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Family Christmas 2014

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Ah, Christmas. The lead-up to Christmas is always full of anticipation laced with extreme stress. Gifts to buy and wrap, food to make, so much stuff to do! The day of can get pretty stressful, too. This year, though, by some miracle, the day was super not stressful. And actually fun! Got to rock an awesome dress and shoes from my awesome fiancee, got her her first blanket scarf, and had a great time celebrating the day with my family!

Her first blanket scarf, from asos!

Her first blanket scarf, from asos!

Ignoring the disgusting face I'm making at 100% fault of the sun, check out these killer shoes!

Ignoring the disgusting face I’m making at 100% fault of the sun, check out these killer shoes!

We were up at my aunt’s house this year. It’s a bit of a drive but totally worth it. She’s an amazing hostess and we always have a great time.

My cousin did grandma’s make-up.

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And them my goofy uncle photo bombed us trying to be all cute.

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We had some good old fashioned cousin time on the couch.

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And took lots of photos together!

In which my fiancee is gorgeous.

In which my fiancee is gorgeous.

This girl is the best. Fact.

This girl is the best. Fact.

All the lady cousins!

All the lady cousins!

And [finally] a photo of my dad smiling. This is a rare occurrence. And required wildly inappropriate jokes from my uncle.

And [finally] a photo of my dad smiling. This is a rare occurrence. And required wildly inappropriate jokes from my uncle.

Definitely an amazing Christmas, one to top past Christmases.

Do you have any silly holiday traditions? What are they? I’d love to see them in the comments!

Couple’s Christmas Party

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We have officially reached the time of year where christmas parties are coming at us from left and right and we don’t know how to make it all stop and how does anyone have time to attend or even plan all of these and do i need to bring anything and what to i wear and… Stop. We all have this thought process. It’s daunting. So many places to go, people to see, and everyone is demanding your time. It’s important to remember that it is okay to say no to some parties, that you are not expected nor responsible for everything and everyone.

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Our plan with this couple’s christmas party was to have a few close friends together for a relaxed and romantic evening in. No stress, no worry, no gifts. Just friendship and someone to cuddle up with. We made some munchies, mulled some wine, hauled out some christmas crackers, and called it a night. And I think it’s safe to say it was a successful one! Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and, save for our apartment being prone to extreme heat, we all had a great night!

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My dress is a little Forever 21 number. My lady’s dress comes from Target. We were both all about the unique backs this holiday season.

The whole crew with our paper crowns from the Christmas crackers.

The whole crew with our paper crowns from the Christmas crackers.