Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Look Book: Mint Lace

Sit right back and hear a tale...of this mint lace dress.

Years ago, I was picking through the clearance rack at Kohl's and fell in love with this gorgeous mint lace dress. I loved the color and the little details, but most importantly I loved the $10 price tag. It was a no-brainer and I took it home.

I planned on wearing it to my first visit to the Cherry Blossom festival in DC, but it ended up being a little too big on top (when you are short, clothes tend to be too long and not fit right), and it sat lower on me than I wanted. I tried to wear it a number of times, but I couldn't get over it.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I decided to finally take the plunge, and get it taken in in the shoulders. What happens? Well with the whole dress sitting higher, the tightest part of the dress was now around the biggest part of my stomach, and it became too tight!

Mint lace dress

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Makeup Looks: Black and Gold

Remember how I told you things have been crazy busy for me? Well things got so busy I completely forgot to post on Saturday! I am doing my best to keep up with blogging, but with everything going on right now, it's been tough. Plus, I have been loosing some motivation. I still love creating the looks, but siting down to write the posts has been a struggle.

This look that I loved creating was inspired by this look by Polished Polyglot.

Black and gold makeup look

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Confetti and Streamers

I feel like I sound like a broken record because all I ever talk about around here is how busy I am. Busy with work, or with family, now add fostering cats to the mix, I never seem to catch a break!

So enough about that, and on to the nails! I saw this look on Pinterest and I wanted to recreate it!

Stripe nail art with rhinestone embellishments

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cat Claws: Jack, My First Foster

I have had cats literally my entire life. I have always been a cat lover, and had a passion for helping them. When I was 9, my very special kitty, Muffin, came into my life. We grew up together and she was my best friend. As she got older, I struggled with the decision on whether or not I'd want another cat after she passed. For a while, I felt that I couldn't ever bring myself to get a cat to "replace" her.

After years of thinking, and talking to Muffin (yes, I am a crazy cat lady and I embrace it), I decided that she would want me to help other cats, and take them in, just as I did for her when she was left on my vet's doorstep.

Foster cat

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I woke up on a Sunday morning, and scrolled through Instagram to find nail art inspiration as I usually do. One look that caught my eye was geode nail art. As I dug deeper, I found so many gorgeous manicures! I knew that I had to create a geode nail art look of my own.

Amethyst geode nail art

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Look Book: Bright, Colorful, and Geometric

Last fall, my friend took me to my first clothing exchange, where a bunch of girls bring clothes they don't want, and then anyone can take the clothes they like from the pile. I have mentioned it on the blog a few times already because I took home so many awesome finds that I love to share! When I saw this fun summer dress, I tried it on right away. It fit like a glove and I knew it had to be mine.

Bright, colorful, and geometric summer dress.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July 2014 Roundup

I has been a hot second since I've done a roundup post and I'm not too sure why. While July has been a busy month, things are finally returning back to normal after the wedding. We started off the month celebrating the 4th of July, and finished with a friend's beautiful wedding, with some excitement in between.


July nail art

Saturday, July 29, 2017


You'd have to be living under a rock not to realize that unicorns have been on-trend lately. At first, I wasn't really into the trend (I have never been a huge unicorn lover, I am more into mermaids personally). But I do love rainbows and glitter, so I can't hate on all the unicorn love. Plus, who doesn't love to feel magical and unique, like a unicorn? With unicorns all over the place lately, I wanted to get on board with some unicorn nail art.

Unicorn nail art

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Drink Beer. Save Wildlife. #BrewAtTheZoo 2017

One thing that Ben and I look forward to in the summer is Brew at the Zoo. We went last year and had such a fun time that we bought tickets for this year the day they were available. This event is held every year at the National Zoo in Washington DC. The proceeds from the tickets go to helping wildlife.

Brew at the Zoo, National Zoo in Washington DC

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saguaro and Peyote

If you've been around Claws Up for a little while, you'd know that by far fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it from the weather, to the foods (hello pumpkin everything!), and the holidays. But for some reason, I have been really feeling summer this year.

I already did a classic summer nail art look, but I wanted to do another. My brother visited from Texas a few months ago for the wedding, so I also wanted to do something Texas related when he was here. Summer? Texas? Cactus nail art!

Cactus nail art

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Flowers and Pearls

Let me tell you a couple things about my nail art. First, the time between when I do my nails and when I publish post varies. That means that you may see very different nail lengths from two posts in a row. Second, sometimes I am craving really flashy or intricate nail art, and sometimes I just want to keep it simple.

I created this look back in March, so as you can see my nails were much shorter then. Ben got me a bouquet of orange roses which inspired me to do simple orange flower nail art.

Simple orange flower nail art

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rooney Ultrasonic Summer Tour aka The Greatest Night of my Life

Last Saturday, Ben and I went to see Rooney in concert. They are not a super popular band, but they were my favorite band for all of junior high and most of high school. One song in particular, That Girl Has Love, really resonated with me and got me through some of my hardest times. I would come home after school and play it on repeat. I even did a presentation on it for my high school psychology class. And when I was on college, I got the name tattooed on me.

What I wore to the Rooney Ultrasonic Summer tour concert

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Makeup Looks: Woodlands

Lately I have been really into makeup looks with natural browns on the top lid, and fun colors on the bottom. It's the perfect way to express yourself with fun colored makeup, but still keeping it subtle enough to wear out. I have already done purple, orange, and blue versions of this look, and I wanted to try a green version too!

Browns and greens makeup look

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Evil Eye Half Moons

I am extremely proud of my Greek heritage. I'm actually a mix of Greek, Polish, and Russian, but for some reason I most closely identify with being Greek. I think it might be because my mom's mom was Greek, and she was the grandparent I spent the most time with. She also made the best food from spanikopita to Greek yogurt.

Greek people have a lot of superstitions. I should know, my Greek family used to spit on me for good luck every time I saw them. A more well-known symbol of Greek superstition is the evil eye. Basically, the evil eye is a curse and you can ward off the curse by wearing an evil eye charm. I have done evil eye nail art in the past (I wont link back to that embarrassment), but I wanted to create a new look.

Evil eye nail art

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I always get excited for summertime. Part of the reason is because that means my least favorite season, spring, is over. I also love all of the fun summertime activities from beach days to BBQs at night. With the summer officially here, I wanted to wear the summer fun on my nails.

Summer nail art

Saturday, July 1, 2017

May 27, 2017 Best Day Ever!

Just a few days ago, Ben and I officially reached one month of marriage. Since I have been sharing my wedding planning journey on the blog, it was only fitting to use this milestone as an opportunity to share my wedding day.

Matching personalized bride and bridesmaids shirts for getting ready.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Look Book: Summer Breeze

I thought that after I got married, life would calm down for me, but that's not true at all! I feel just as busy as I was while planning a wedding. From concerts to family visits, plus all the married-life stuff like dealing with bank accounts and insurance, this summer is going to be busy!

For a busy summer, I need the perfect summer dress. Something that's cute and will keep me cool, plus something that's effortless when I am too hot to think about clothes (you know what I mean, right ladies?). I picked up this dress while at a clothing exchange and it perfectly fit the bill. Plus, pockets.

Strapless blue dress

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lady Gaga's Cup Of Tea

Back in 2011, Lady Gaga took over Barney's department store in NYC to set up her workshop. It was a magical slice of little monster heaven. Gaga released a lot of limited time merchandise to sell in the workshop, including the most awesome teacup ever. I loved the fun pattern and that there was a fake diamond inside (here's why).

For the past 6 years I have wanted to do nail art to match the cup, and I have no idea why it has taken me until now!

Lady Gaga teacup nail art

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm Back! - Honeymooning in California

Hello world, I'm back! As you may know, I decided to take off some time from blogging for my wedding and honeymoon. While the time away was much needed to fully enjoy the experience, it's good to finally get back at it.

The wedding was an almost perfect day with only some minor mishaps. I am excited to share more about my day, and the photos, as soon as we get them back. In the meantime, I am really excited to share a few of the nearly 500 photos we took during the honeymoon, and tell you all about it!

Pacific Beach, CA

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm Getting Hitched!

I'm Getting Hitched!

Can you believe that my wedding is just around the corner? I have been dreaming of this day since I was 5-years-old and it's almost surreal that it's finally here. Even when I got engaged, the wedding felt like light years away. I have spent so much of my life planning for this day, it's going to be a weird feeling not having to think about it anymore.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Julep Maven 2017: Sun Crush

Julep has been stepping it up with it's subscription box lately. I signed up (well, my mom did) back when you could opt out of the box each month if you didn't like what was in it. I usually skip the boxes, but lately I have been really liking them.

This month, Julep introduced the Sun Crush collection. This collection featured a variety of matte shimmer nail polishes, and beauty products for summer. While I liked a lot of what the Sun Crush collection has to offer, I wasn't a fan of how the boxes were grouped, so I decided to make my own custom box!

Julep Maven 2017 Sun Crush Collection

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Wedding Nail Art

Can you believe that my wedding is this month?! When Ben and I got engaged in February of 2015, May of 2017 seemed like a lifetime away. Saying that I have been planning my wedding for the past two years would be a half-truth, since I have practically been planning it since I was kid. It's almost surreal to that the day I have been dreaming about since I was a little girl is just around the corner.

Not long after I got engaged, I did nail art inspired by my engagement ring. At the time I knew that one day I wanted to do nail art inspired by my wedding, and with the wedding so soon I thought this was the perfect time.

Wedding nail art

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mont Bleu Review

Pres Sample

Nail blogger confession: For years, I used cardboard nail files. I know, blasphemy! It actually wasn't until I got a glass nail file in the 2015 Ciate Mini Mani Month that I started to move away from the cardboard ones. That's why when Mont Bleu contacted me to try some of their products, I was really excited!

Mont Bleu specializes in glass nail files from the Czech Republic, but they have lots of other beauty items as well. I was sent three different items to review. They also sent me a Prague post card which I thought was super cute!

Mont Bleu Review

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Muffin's (Almost) 18th Birthday + Tattoo

I have mentioned it a few times on the blog, but my very special kitty, Muffin, passed away about a month ago. Her birthday is on March 31st, and every year I had a special celebration for her. As she got older she got more spoiled, and I gave her a special dinner, a gift, and a cupcake for each birthday. Some years, even my mom would send her a gift!

Cat 18th birthday party

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette - Nail Art

Surprisingly, when I got the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette, the first place my mind went was not makeup looks. My first thought was actually "can I use this to create nail art?" I painted my nails black, got some of the makeup on a sponge, took a deep breath, and...

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette Nail Art

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette - Swatch + Makeup Look

Almost a month ago, my very special kitty, Muffin, passed away. It was very hard on me, and I am still not healed. My mom knew how hard that day was going to be, and a few days before we had to say "goodbye" to Muffin, my mom sent me a surprise in the mail. She asked me to open it on that day to try to lift my spirits. Even though it was a very sad day, I was still excited when I opened the box and saw the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette. I finally got a chance to try it out, and I can't wait to share it with you!

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mint Leopard French

There's no denying it, spring is here. For most people, this is a great time of year filled with sunshine and beautiful weather. I, on the other hand, hate spring with a passion. I don't like that the weather is warming up (I miss my scarves and boots!), and I especially don't like all the rain.

However, one thing I do like about spring is that the color mint is everywhere again! I love the gorgeous color, and it always pokes it's pretty head out when the weather starts warming up. I saw this pastel pink and leopard print nail art look on Pinterest, and I wanted to recreate it with my favorite spring color.

Gold and mint French manicure with leopard print

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wedding Crafting: Who's Who Picture Collage

When I first started planing my wedding, I thought I wanted to craft everything. I soon realized that crafting was a lot more work than it was fun! I still have a lot of things on my crafting to-do list, and I want to share a few of them on the blog. One project that I knew I wanted to do was a Who's Who picture collage.

Who's who photo collage wedding DIY

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Look Book: Purple Leopard

AAANNNDDD...I'M BACK! I'm sure some of you noticed (and I'm sure some of you didn't) but I took an unexpected 2 week blogging break. If you follow me on Instagram, you may know part of the reason why. Sadly, my very special kitty, Muffin, passed away. I got her when I was 9 years old, I had her for her entire 18 years of life, so this loss was extremely hard on me. On top of that, work has been overwhelming lately, (a lot got added on to my plate the day after Muffin passed). In that same week, the official 2 months-til-the-wedding countdown started, and I am scrambling to get everything done. So as you can see, it's been an intense couple of weeks.

The pain of loosing Muffin gets a little better every day, and even though work is still busy, it is getting more managable. The wedding stuff is still piling on, but I wanted to get back to blogging. I don't think that I will be able to keep up my schedule of posting twice a week, but I'll do my best! For my first post back, I wanted to share a winter-to-spring transition outfit.

Purple and leopard print zipper back top

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Green Day #RevRadTour

On Monday, Ben and I saw Green Day on their Revolution Radio tour in DC. He got tickets for me for Chanukkah, and I had been looking forward to it ever since. I was actually really nervous that the show would get canceled due to the big snow storm. I checked Twitter all day long, and luckily the show was on!

What I wore to the Green Day concert

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Green Nails for Green Day (and St. Patrick's day)

On Monday, Ben and I saw Green Day on their Revolution Radio tour, which was amazing! I will talk more about the concert in an upcoming post, but today I wanted to share the nail art I did for the concert.

From the start, I knew I wanted to do something with green and black. Since St. Patrick's day is around the corner, I also wanted my nails to be festive for the holiday too. I decided that the perfect way to incorporate both events was with green-to-black gradient nail art.

Green and black gradient nail art

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Julep Maven March 2017 - Face The Glimmer

If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have seen my first ever live video! For my first live video, I decided to unbox the March 2017 Julep Maven box. This month Julep released the Spring To It collection. I opted for the Face The Glimmer box, which featured four full sized makeup items, and two sample items.

Julep Maven March 2017 Face The Glimmer Box

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


In college I took a Buddhism class, and it was one of my favorites. A huge teaching in Buddhism is the idea of impermanence. What that means is that everything that we know in this world is going to be destroyed sooner or later, so it's wise to not become too attached to things as they are.

One way the Buddhists embrace this idea is in the creation of mandalas. People can spend days or weeks creating this intricate designs made of sand, just to wash them away. Ever since I learned about this, it is something that I have tried to keep with me so that if something in my life breaks, I try to not get too upset over it.

When I saw this nail art on Pinterest, it reminded me of a mandala and I was inspired to recreate it.

Colorful mandala nail art

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Look Book: Gray and Burgundy

There are three ways in which I acquire new clothes into my wardrobe. The first, and least common, is buying it full price. The second is from the clearance rack. The third way is from my mom. This outfit combines the second two.

A few weeks ago I picked up a gray top on clearance. It was really comfy and perfect for work. A little while later, I got a surprise package in the mail from my mom with a pair of burgundy boots. She said she ordered them for herself but they were too small, so she sent them to me. Thanks mom! I love purples and grays together, so I decided to pair them.

Gray top and knee-high burgundy boots

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Remembrance Picture Frames

I am officially less than 3 months out from the wedding and it's getting close to crunch time! That means finalizing the details with all the vendors, and finish making all the crafts.

Of course, browsing Pinterest gave me a lot of ideas for personal touches to make the big day more special. One idea that I loved was to put photos of loved ones that have passed on the chairs during the ceremony.

I knew that I wanted to create fun signs and have lots of photos for the wedding, so over a year ago I picked up two picture frames that were on clearance. They were actually a hot mess when I got them (no wonder they were marked down so cheap!), but I knew I could revive them.

Pictures of loved ones that have passed on for wedding ceremony

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 2017 Round Up

And just like that, February was over already. It was nice having a pretty low-key month, especially since March looks like it's going to be crazy one. I still had a lot of fun this month celebrating Valentine's day and hanging out with friends.

Nail Art

nail art feb 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Old Lace

I feel like a broken record when I say this, but I have been feeling pretty uninspired lately. With so much going on in my life, from the wedding right around the corner, and excititng things happening at work, it has been hard to think of nail art ideas.

Thank goodness for Pinterest! It has been saving my butt (and also making me want to spend money on lots of wedding details I probably don't need). I found this beautiful lace nail art look and I knew I wanted to recreate it. I loved the soft neutrals and the delicate lace.

Neutral and lace nail art

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Look Book: Purple Peplum Sweater

Every Valentine's day, my mom sends me (and now Ben too) a little care package. The rules are that it has to have Reese's and a stuffed animal. She usually also throws in some clothes, makeup, and other accessories. In my package this year, I got this beautiful purple peplum sweater.

Purple peplum sweater, grey knee high boots

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wedding Crafts: Painted Wine Bottles

It has been a hot minute since I have posted about my wedding planning on the blog. Since yesterday was our 2 year anniversary of being engaged, I thought it was time to share some of the things that I have been working on.

While touring wedding venues, we saw one wedding that I just thought was so beautiful. One thing I loved about this wedding was all the personal touches that the bride added. I actually used some ideas in a few of my crafts. The first one I worked on was painted wine bottles.

What you need:

Wedding Crafts: Painted Wine Bottles

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Makeup Looks: Smokey Valentine

Can you believe that Valentine's day is right around the corner already? Ben and I are actually celebrating tonight. We are getting dressed up and going out for a fancy dinner. This is also a special day for us, because Ben proposed on Valentine's day two years ago.

I decided that I wanted to create a Valentine's day makeup look, so I started browsing Pinterest. I found three looks I loved, but I ended up deciding to go with this Valentine's day smokey eye.

Smokey makeup look for Valentine's day

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love Letters

Even though my fiance, Ben, and I are millennials, there is something special about handwriting your feelings for someone, and sending it in the mail (snail mail that is!). We only wrote each other love letters a couple of times while we were in our four year long distance relationship. 

Now that we live together, we do leave the occasional love note. I think that taking the time to write your feelings down is so special. It takes time and thought, and you can keep it forever. I save all the love notes that Ben has written for me. You can't save a text and look back on it with your grandchildren!

Love letter nail art for Valentine's day

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Look Book: Triple Heart Dress

Valentine's day is around the corner and I am getting excited. I love dressing up and going out for a fancy dinner. Ben and I are pretty frugal, so we don't eat out often, and when we do it's usually on a budget, so it's fun to splurge a few nights a year.

Of course I can't wear any ol' dress! I love dressing up in festive outfits for most holidays, and Valentine's day is no exception. I picked up this amazing heart key hole dress a few years ago and I wore it every Valentine's day. Sadly, I gained some weight and I wasn't able to fit in it anymore (and I gave it away at a clothing exchange). Luckily, my mom found a similar dress in a bigger size!

Triple cut out heart dress for Valentine's day

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

French Tip Hearts

Happy first day of February! I love the start of February because love is in the air. Why's that? Valentine's day is around the corner, of course! Love is such a focal point of my life that I even got a tattoo of my favorite Rooney song, That Girl Has Love. Of course I love my Fall holidays, but a day celebrating the best feeling in the world, love, is up there on my list.

Since Valentine's day is one of my favorite holidays, of course that means I need to do some looks on the blog to celebrate. I'm sure you have all seen this French tip heart manicure all over Pinterest. I have had my nails almond shaped for a while, so I have no idea why it took me so long to try out this look!

French manicure heart nail art

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 2017 Roundup

Welcome to the first roundup of the new year! Thankfully my January wasn't too crazy, after a super crazy October, November, and December. That not to say I wasn't busy. I spent it doing a lot of wedding planning from crafting decorations to buying Ben's wedding band. I also fulfilled one of my life's dreams and was in a protest! I went to the Women's March on Washington to fight for human rights. It was such an incredible experience to be a part of history.

Nail Art

Nail art by Claws Up in January 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dorothy in the Streets, Blanche in the Sheets

A few years ago, I watched The Golden Girls for the first time. I love older TV (I Love Lucy is my favorite show of all time), but for some reason it took me a long time to watch The Golden Girls. After one episode I was an instant fan. I even listen to a Golden Girls podcast every weekend while I work on my nail art for the blog!

Dorothy in the Streets, Blanche in the Sheets pillow

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Makeup Looks: Frozen

Last week when that cold front came through, it meant that winter was officially here. I have broken out my warmest clothes, my snow boots, and my hot chocolate. This cold weather inspired me to create a winter makeup look.

Winter makeup

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Grape Galaxies

My first ever nail art post on this blog was my first attempt at galaxy nail art. To be real with you, one of my first times doing nail art period, and it was pretty awful. One year later on my blogaversary I decided to attempt galaxy nail art again. While better, was still a fail.

A month ago I went to Texas to visit family for the holidays (but really to see Rogue One). I wanted to do nail art my brother would think was cool; I wanted to do galaxy nail art. I had to talk myself up to it.

You can do it.

Your're actually sorta not bad at nail art now.

It's easy, I swear!

Purple galaxy nail art

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Look Book: Cozy Chevron

There is no more denying it, winter is here! The temperature is dropping, snow is falling, and I am bringing out all my warmest clothes. I love fall and winter for a lot of reasons, and one of them is that I get to wear my favorite clothes. Give me a sweater, a scarf, and boots, and I am a happy camper.

I got a lot of clothes from my mom for my birthday and Chanukkah, and one thing that I got that I was extra excited about was this sweater dress and scarf combo. The sweater was long and warm, and I loved the chevron scarf it came with. I thew in some leggings and boots, and instantly found my favorite winter outfit!

Black sweater dress with burgundy leggings and red and black chevron scarf

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Makeup Looks: Greenery

Welcome to 2017! With a new year comes many other new things. #NewYearNewMe and all. In case you haven't heard, Pantone has chosen the new Color of the Year, and its Greenery. I am having sort of a love-hate relationship with Greenery. I love green, and it is a pretty and fresh shade of green. However, this color screams Spring to me, and I really really hate the spring.

No matter if I love it or if I hate it, since it's the 2017 color of the year, I wanted to wear it. Here is my Greenery makeup look:

Pantone 2017 Color of the Year Greenery makeup look

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rose and Gold

Are you guys also super obsessed with rose gold right now too? I just can't get enough of it! I am not a fan of gold, but I am a huge fan of pink, and something about that combination is just so gorgeous. Surprisingly, I don't own a rose gold nail polish! So instead of rose gold nail art, I have rose and gold nail art.

rose and gold nail art



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