Blog

It’s Friday The Thirteenth & I Literally Can’t

BOO! Haha, just kidding.

I woke up this morning and was immediately stressed out. Not only do I have an exam today, but I woke up to five texts asking me whether these ugly  shoes were grey and mint or pink and white. WTF. It’s too early for this! Can’t anyone have a normal Friday?

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October is hands down the best month of the year.

It’s the start of autumn and in *most* places, the weather begins to cool down. This year, we were blessed with having Friday the Thirteenth land in this ~spooky~ month. Contrary to popular belief, today was supposed to be a good day. But of course, life is life and it’s already shitty.

Everyone is arguing about these shoes. Are they grey and mint? Are they pink and white? Does anyone actually care? Yes, I did ask everyone in my class what they thought, but that’s just because I’m trying to fit in. Families are being torn apart by the minute with this arising issue. I see them as grey and mint, but I’m also semi-blind. I tried looking in the light, in the dark, and everywhere in between, and they ARE NOT pink. But plot twist, they are. Check it out. Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 9.59.12 AM

On top of the fact that these shoes are pink, they’re $60. Do you know what you could buy with $60? Half of Forever 21, that’s what.

What was supposed to be a festive Friday the Thirteenth is now all about a pair of shoes, thanks to the Internet. I feel like I have a color issue going on with my eyes and my day is slightly ruined. Do I make an appointment with my optometrist? Someone tell me what to do!

I suggest we focus our energy on more important things, like Halloween costumes and plans, rather than our vision issues and these shoes. It’s the black and blue dress reincarnated into sneakers. Tragic.

P.S. I’m running a poll on my Instagram account (@nickiiiig) on what color combination you see the shoes. Head over to my profile and view my story to vote!

The best of luck on this traditionally unlucky day,

Nicki G.

Fitness

Barre So Hard

I’m going to start by saying that I definitely underestimated ballet barre exercise classes. I’m not sure why, considering that I haven’t taken a ballet class in ten years… but I thought it would be easier than it actually was. Nonetheless, I had a great time and a killer workout.

I love trying new exercise classes, so when The Bar Method was having an Open House week, I decided to try it out. New guests were gifted with a free class, so I brought along a friend of mine to join in on the fun.

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Post work out! Sorry for the bad quality- it was saved from SnapChat

The class starts with a quick warm up, followed by different upper and lower body exercises. With each motion, you really feel each muscle being targeted and stretched. Read more about their workout here.

Since I went to the 9:30 a.m. class, I guess that’s prime stay-at-home-mom workout time. My friend and I were probably the youngest girls there, along with two or three more. It was actually kind of funny. Props to them, though, because they were all kicking ass the whole hour-long class, while I was getting my ass kicked (in the best way possible).

I definitely recommend this workout class if you wanna try something new. You feel the burn in all your muscles, and it’s more fun than going to the gym alone and having to come up with workouts. You also get nice stretches throughout the hour, which really help open your body cavities and ease your breathing. I’m adding this to my list of overpriced workout classes that I love! Can I be more basic?

Love,

Nicki G

P.S. I enjoyed a delicious detox juice from Dr. Smood after my class. It was packed with orange, celery, beet, spinach, carrot, lemon, ginger, & ashwagandha (I don’t know either). Great juice to finish off my morning cleanse!

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*Featured image from The Bar Method Blog

Food Spots

15th & Vine

This weekend’s brunch was at the lovely 15th & Vine at the W Hotel in Brickell. The modern restaurant has a delicious brunch menu with a “freeflow bubbles” option for bottomless mimosas (heck yeah). Its prime location makes it a great spot for anyone trying to enjoy an unforgettable brunching experience. Check out their menu here.

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Tuna Tartare & Avocado
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Blackened Mahi-Mahi Burger

 

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

I started with the tuna tartare which was extremely flavorful. It’s dressed with a ponzu sauce and comes with a crispy rice cracker. My main dish was the blackened mahi burger. You can’t go wrong with this option if you want something heavy enough to fill you up, but not as filling as a regular beef burger. It’s light, but filling- perfect if you ask me. The french fries were to die for, if we’re being honest. I tried my friend’s lobster mac and cheese, which didn’t disappoint. It’s topped with breadcrumbs & is definitely sharable.

If you’re looking for a new brunch spot and haven’t been to 15th & Vine, definitely make your way over there. Their rooftop is under construction, so if you want a gorgeous view of our city (#welivewhereyouvacay), wait until it’s open again. Let me know what you think of it!

Blog

Hangover Chronicles: III

This was a weekend of spontaneity. Thursday night, my best friend and I decided to road trip to Gainesville, Fl first thing Friday morning. One of my other best friends & sister go to school there, so we had plenty of places to stay so last minute. We also had nothing school-related to worry about because of #Irma. RIP.

Friday night was a shit show (in the best way possible); drinks were $0.50. Yes. Fifty f*cking cents. Needless to say, everyone I was with ended up extremely drunk. Saturday morning’s hangover was masked by a harsh reality: Game Day. I woke my hungover ass up at 8:30 a.m. and tried to shower the pain away. It helped a little. So did my leftover pizza and Aleve.

Game Day came and went, and plenty of platties (common college lingo referring to Bud Light Platinum- a less shitty version of the classic tailgating beer) were consumed… along with a shot of Aguardiente that I had to try really hard to keep down. That hangover I tried to suppress was slowly creeping its way back into my life- and I knew I’d soon be miserable. I tried napping before going out at night- but my headache was massive. I put my big girl pants on, ate some pasta, and got ready to go out. I went out with my little sister and her friends, which was interesting. Sidenote: let’s all get past the champagne shower phase. No one likes being wet and sticky in the club. Literally no one.

Keep reading to laugh at my Sunday morning misery.

Not only was I extremely hungover on Sunday, but I had to drive five hours back to Miami. Thank the Lord my friend drove down the whole way- I wouldn’t have made it.

We walked downstairs from my sisters apartment to find my friend’s car had been towed. Freaking awesome, right? We waited inside a Publix (the Publix that had our car towed- NOT a pleasure if you ask me) for my sister to come scoop us up to take us to the towing company. Suddenly, an unavoidable wave of nausea came over me. I knew it. My time was done. I found the bathroom and immediately started puking in the toilet. There was someone in the stall next to me and I felt so bad that she was listening to my throw up sounds. That in it of itself would have made me puke. She’s a trooper. I puked a lot and when I walked out of the stall, my eyes were bloodshot, teary, and I looked like defeat. I composed myself (as much as I could) and was gifted with the presence of a cute kid I went to high school with. Goals, right? I shoved a croissant down my throat to absorb any left over stomach acid and my sister pulled up outside. We picked up my friend’s car and went to eat breakfast.

I’m about to tell you a secret. Don’t tell anyone, promise? My hangover was still so bad at this point that… I… ate bacon. I know. I’m terrible. I was too hungover to be a vegetarian. I would have DIED without the bacon. Dramatic? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

Warning: graphic image below

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My hungover self in the car on our way back home. Good look for me, isn’t it?

There you have it- part three. We made it back to Miami safely and soundly, and I’m currently still sleep deprived. Hope you enjoyed laughing at my misery. Laughter is the only way to get through it… or not drinking- but no.

Shotgun a beer in my honor your next game day!

Stay thriving,

Nicki G.

beauty · Blog

My Beauty Routine

I know. There are people and posts everywhere telling you how to “achieve glowy skin” and “have a flawless complexion“. Honestly, I can’t tell you if my routine will give you any of those, cause I’m not a dermatologist (or miracle worker). Perfect skin comes differently to everyone. I’ve always struggled with spot acne, which has always driven me crazy. Although it’s significantly cleared up after starting birth control, I still find myself randomly breaking out in certain spots on my face.

The products you use definitely play a huge roll in how your skin reacts. If you have oily skin, don’t use products that add more oil or “shine”. If you have dry skin, don’t use products that are going to make your face flakey. Beauty experts all around can help you find the best products that fit you & your skin. Your food intake also contributes to your flawless complexion. If you put shitty food into your body, you’ll have shitty skin. There’s no way around it.

Keep reading for some of my favorite beauty products.

All of Mario Badescu’s skin care products are to die for. They’re simple, effective, and most importantly, affordable. Shop my favorite facial spray here and my favorite toner here. Tip: spray some of the rosewater facial spray for some quick mid-day facial hydration!

Sometimes I wake up with my skin feeling a little dull, so I start my makeup routine with Nars Radiance Primer. This primer adds the perfect illumination on my duller days! Opt for a matte primer if you wake up with shiny skin- like Benefit POREfessional. I apply each to different parts of my face- depending on the area!

My makeup must-haves:

No, I’m not a makeup artist (or anything close to it), but my best friend is- so I’ve managed to pick up a few tips and tricks along our friendship (P.S. follow her on Instagram: @catanoglam). The products below are my must-haves!

  1. Elta MD Tinted Sunscreen
  2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  3. Lancome Dual Finish Powder Foundation
  4. Benefit Hoola Bronzer
  5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit 
  6. L’oréal Lash Paradise Voluminous Mascara

On a regular day, I’ll usually start by applying some of the Elta MD sunscreen (I get the tinted one to reduce white residue), my Nars concealer in the shade Custard, and my Lancome powder in the shade matte honey. Depending on the type of day I’ll be having (just school, hospital day, errands, etc.), I’ll either stop there, or add some of the Hoola bronzer and glow kit. I recently started using the Lash Paradise mascara- and I’m totally in love. Don’t spend money on name-brand mascara- this one works just the same- if not better.

Now don’t forget cleansing.

And I’m not just talking about your face. Although it’s so important to have a daily cleansing routine, you cannot forget to clean your brushes. I’ve noticed I start having random breakouts when I haven’t cleaned my brushes in a while. I’m going to start getting into the habit of regularly cleaning my brushes in hopes of eliminate those mini spot-breakouts I told you about earlier.

I wash my face every time I shower with Neutrogena’s Grapefruit Acne Wash, and every morning with their new Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel. I’ll also use the latter if I feel my face needs a mid-day cleanse.

 

Washing your face daily, having products that suit your skin type, and not overdoing it with products on the daily are key factors in having awesome skin. I’m on my journey in transforming my skin- and I invite you to do the same! Share your favorite products/routines with me… I love trying out new things! I’ve also been putting a layer of Vitamin E oil on my face before bed a few times a week in order to improve my complexion. Try it out!

Love you always, and let’s wake up #flawless together!

Nicki G.

Blog · Food Spots

MadLove

I had the pleasure of trying out Pinecrest’s newest restaurant addition: MadLove by Latin House. I’m a huge fan of Latin House Grill, so I knew this new spot wouldn’t disappoint.

This casual-dining restaurant has a great vibe & great food options to go with it. Pick from endless protein options (including fish & veggie options!) and style them any way- tacos, bowls, quesadilla, etc. Craving a burger? They have that too. Check out their menu below.

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Everyone was asking me on my SnapChat where the f*ck  my food was from, so I had to share with you guys. Did anyone respond to the selfie I posted? No. But tacos? Over 20 people. I love my friends.

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Loaded fries & tuna poke tacos
Although a little pricey, the food was great and I’ll definitely be back again. The manager was so nice and welcoming, which made my experience at Mad Love complete. Don’t expect a sit-down-and-take-your-order kind of place; place your order at the register and one of their lovely employees will shortly bring you your meal. I give this place a 10/10 (this rating is based on nothing- ten out of ten what?). The food was delicious, the service was great, the ambiance was comfortable, and it’s in a great location. I guess that makes it a 4/4, but that sounds horrendous so we’ll stick with 10/10.

Honestly, if those quesadillas aren’t turning you on, you have issues. I ordered the veggie protein as my filling and you seriously couldn’t tell it wasn’t chicken. I strongly recommend these to anyone trying to cut back on their meat intake- or to any of my fellow vegetarians! Don’t worry vegans- enjoy the veggie tacos sans crema Mexicana or avo-lime sauce and you’re good to go.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Love always,

Nicki G.

Blog

Up Your Lunch Game

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A lot of us have long work/school days and don’t have time to go home for lunch. This then leads to A) spending money and eating lunch out (and chances are, it won’t be  healthy), or B) taking our lunch with us to school/work. I try to take my lunch with me when I know I won’t have time to come home between classes, or when I have long clinical days at the hospital. Bringing my lunch from home saves money, and I get to decide what I eat and make sure it’s healthy.

Step up your lunch game with a cute lunchbox.

It’s that simple! Invest in a trendy lunch bag, and you’ll be even more inspired to take your lunch to school/work. Kate Spade and Urban Outfitters have adorable lunch boxes, but they can be a little pricey. Amazon also has a really good selection, just make sure you search for “trendy lunchboxes” and not “cute lunchboxes”- the word cute brings in weird dog and cat printed bags. Ew.

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My kick ass lunch bag is from Fluf, an organic textile brand. This Girl Power classic lunch bag supports Plan InternationalBecause I am a Girl, organizations that empower and support young girls with quality education and the tools needed to succeed, by donating $1 from the purchase of each bag to these organizations. Read more about this project here.  These bags are also made from 100% organic cotton!

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Lined interior

Ditch the paper bags and get yourself a lunchbox! Take it back to your elementary school days, minus the Lunchables. Having a reusable lunch bag is eco-friendly and a cute one adds an extra bit of oomph to your day!

Have a nice lunch,

Nicki G.

 

Blog

Vegainz: Update

I’m going to start this off by saying that being vegan isn’t for everyone. I’m surprised I even lasted as long as I did given that I am addicted to cheese. After three weeks of absolutely no cheese, eggs, meat, or fish, I decided to go back to my pescatarian ways. I wish I could be vegan #forlife, but it was a little too much, even for me.

Life is about balance.

Although many documentaries claim that “everything in moderation” isn’t good enough, I think it’s ok. And why does my opinion matter? It doesn’t. But I’m sure a lot of you would agree with me. I don’t eat red meat, chicken, and will continue cutting back on my fish intake (although I’m pretty sure it’s only the farm raised stuff that’s bad for you?). I don’t eat dairy other than cheese, and I will make a conscious effort to cut back on my cheese intake as well. Pro tip: switch from soy milk to almond or cashew milk. Studies show the latter are better for you!

Veganz: update
Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a Silk Almond Milk official ad

I’ve learned to enjoy so many vegetables.

Which is something I’m really happy about. I would have never been caught dead eating so many green things, and here I am. Almond milk is my new best friend, and I’ve found so many protein sources from mushrooms and beans. While my veganism (is that a word?) lasted only a short while, it was a fun challenge I’m glad I took part in. I commend those who have a fully vegan lifestyle and encourage others to give it a try. Even if it only lasts a few weeks, you can discover a lot about your body & how to keep it healthy.

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Seitan: newly discovered wheat protein source I’m currently obsessing over

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This week’s meal prep, featuring seitan, brown rice, asparagus, assorted peppers, zucchini, & mushrooms

So there’s my update.

I lasted three weeks (that’s longer than most of you can do anything so shut up) and it was… interesting. I’m interested in any feedback regarding being vegan- share your journey/experience with me!

For those of you interested, I do most of my grocery shopping at Publix, but I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I’d solely shop there, but Publix is more convenient for weekly shopping- especially with my busy schedule.

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Love always,

Nicki G.