Blog

True Life: I Don’t Like Thanksgiving Food

No, you didn’t misread that. It’s the truth. Thanksgiving food is gross. Turkey? Pass. Sweet potatoes? Pass. Cranberries? Negative. Yes, I know this is a highly unpopular opinion, but I’m sure someone out there agrees with me. I love the holiday, just not the food that comes with it. Although we should be thankful every day, our gratitude can sometimes slip through our minds when we’re busy trying to survive our every day lives. I love being able to take today to spend time and reflect on all my blessings, and spend it with those I love most.

Why couldn’t the Pilgrims eat something a little more appetizing?

I know… lack of resources, only stuff available, whatever. It’s an unfortunate piece of history (the food choice, not the holiday) that we’re now stuck with forever. I know what you’re thinking… “You’ve never tried turkey how MY family makes it!,” and honestly, I probably have. I’ve had dry turkey, mojo turkey, Caja China turkey (if you know, you know), and I just don’t like it. It’s a sad piece of poultry and I feel bad for people who find it appetizing.

I guess I’m being a little unfair. Not all Thanksgiving food was created equal. Mashed potatoes are bomb. Surprisingly, I love  green-bean casserole.  Sometimes there’s a side of macaroni and cheese, and we all know how I feel about that. Here’s a list of my thoughts on traditional Thanksgiving foods:

I guess there’s a decent amount of foods that aren’t gross, but I don’t get the hype of eating on Thanksgiving. I enjoy a lot of regular day meals way more. Also, there’s no way someone in their right mind enjoys cooking that much food. My family has switched over to catering, and we’ve never looked back. I am #thankful for delicious, catering companies.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with those closest to your hearts. Remember the meaning of today and remind others why you’re thankful for them. This has been one hell of a year, and we should all be happy to be alive. Drink up, say thanks, and enjoy all the turkey that I won’t be. Also, you don’t have to post a picture of your food today; we’re all eating the same shit.

Quick note: I’m thankful for all of your support with each post. It truly means the world to me!

Love always,

Nicki G.

P.S. Our gorgeous dinner table was decorated by my awesome mom! Isn’t it beautiful?

Blog

Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are just around the corner so you know what that means… and no, not gaining ten pounds (you’re better than that). I don’t know about you, but I love giving gifts! It gives me a chance to show people how grateful I am for them, and lets me put a little thought and creativity into it.

With that being said, sometimes gift-giving involves a little too much thinking, and we find ourselves stuck on what to get our family and friends. Hopefully my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide helps you out a little bit!

For Your Sister or Best Friends

I don’t know how you & your friends roll, but I always get my closest friends a Christmas gift. I think they deserve a little more than that shot I buy them (along with everyone else) at the bar when I have one too many beers and think my credit card has no limit. Check out these ideas below.

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Bikini: Casa Bikini – Cap: Private Party – Oils: Bali Body – Sunglasses: Quay

Bikinis are always a great idea, especially here in Miami! We can always use anything beach related down here, including caps, tanning oils, and sun glasses.

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I’m always raving about staying hydrated, so help your friend who doesn’t drink enough water start drinking more [water]! S’well has the hottest water bottles that keep your water cold as long as you have it in there.

 

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Baublebar earrings

Trendy accessories are always fun! Shop for someone who loves accessories & surprise them with trendy tassel earrings, classic Kate Spade stone earrings, or a useful choker!

For Your Mom

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I gave my mom a Longchamp backpack last year for Christmas, and she absolutely loved it. She uses it for things from long days at the mall, to traveling! It’s comfortable, stylish, and convenient.

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Candles are always a great gift. Who doesn’t love candles?! I’ve recently fallen in love with Voluspa candles. They last long, smell strong enough to fill the whole room with the scent without overwhelming you, and are affordable. Shop them anywhere from Nordstrom to local boutiques.

For Everyone Else

I can’t sit here and name every person you have a relationship and what to get them. Well I can, but I won’t. Below is a list of gift ideas you can give to whoever (aunts, uncles, bosses, that girl in your accounting class that gives you her study guides, ex boyfriend, neighbor, etc).

  1. Graphic tee
  2. Fujifilm Instax
  3. Daniel Wellington watch
  4. Skin care products (idea)
  5. Jewelry (check out Baublebar earrings!)
  6. Sweater
  7. Cookbook
  8. Game (not monopoly, more like Cards Against Humanity)
  9. Calvin Klein undergarments (I’m basic in #mycalvins)
  10. Herschel backpack (shop)
  11. Workout clothes (shop my favorite brand here)
  12. Purse
  13. Vinyl
  14. Cardholder
  15. Pajamas (men & women)
  16. Wine bottle
  17. Concert tickets
  18. For Him: Kiehl’s Starter Kit (shop)
  19. For Him: Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker
  20. For Him: cologne 
  21. For Him: joggers 
  22. Stocking Stuffer: trendy phone case (Sonix)
  23. Stocking Stuffer: furry socks
  24. Stocking Stuffer: book (on my list: check it out)
  25. Stocking Stuffer: Sugarfina gummy bears (shop)

I could probably go on, and on, on gift ideas. There are so many things we don’t think about that would make great gifts! My favorite thing to do is go online and look at the Holiday sections of my favorite stores. They have the best ideas, divided by price & style! Feel free to share this and add some ideas in the comment section below.

Let’s not forget the true meaning of the holidays, and let’s give back to those in need on top of shopping for our loved ones.

Happy Holidays!

Nicki G.

Recipes

Smoked Gouda & Sharp Cheddar Mac

What better thing is there to do on a night in than cook and drink wine? Nothing, I know. Cooking has the power to take my mind away from whatever’s going on and just let me focus on creating the perfect dish. That being said, I don’t do it often, cause I hate the clean up process. Last night I was inspired to make homemade macaroni and cheese, ’cause who the hell doesn’t love macaroni and cheese. I put this recipe together from a few others I found online. Check it out below!

What You Need:

  • 1 lb box of pasta (I used cavatappi)
  • 1 8 oz block of sharp white cheddar cheese (about two cups)
  • 1 8 oz block of smoked gouda cheese (about two cups)
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil

Prep:

Make the pasta according to box directions. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour for two minutes, until smooth. Continue whisking for another two minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Lower the heat to low and add in the cheese (saving about a cup), salt, pepper, and mustard powder.

Pour the pasta in a lightly greased 9x12x2 oven safe tray. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and pour over the cheese sauce. Stir lightly to cover all the noodles. Top it with the paprika and breadcrumbs (however much you want).

Bake for 20 minutes (or until it starts to bubble) at 425º. Let it cool a little and prepare to have the most amazing cheesy goodness bless your tastebuds.