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.

Blog

Rock Your Graphic Tee (No Pun Intended)

Graphic tees are fun. They’re cheap (usually), quick to throw on, and give people a sense of your personality. You don’t necessarily have to save them for a day spent on campus or running errands, though. It’s easy to grab your favorite graphic tee and incorporate it into your night’s outfit.

Make sure your T-shirt identifies with who you are.

Don’t wear a band tee if you can’t even name one of their songs. That’s tacky. Someone is bound to come up to you with a random fact about the band, and you’ll be forced to smile awkwardly and act like you know what they’re talking about. Avoid that. Don’t be a poser, be you. You rock.

If your T-shirt is a big men size like mine was, start by cutting the bottom to make it fit a little better. More cropped-tee, less T-shirt dress. Plus, the edges roll up after you cut it, which adds a fun touch.

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Add some cute jewelry, like this Forever 21 choker set.

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Make sure your bottom has cute details, like a small embroidery or some studs. My go-to denim shorts are some I found at Zara last summer.

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My TopShop denim jacket is a staple piece in a lot of my outfits. It’s distressed, oversized, and f*&%ing awesome.

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Not pictured are my Tory Burch rain boots. They’re ankle height, and perfect for Miami’s rainy days. Throw your hair into a messy bun (another Nicki G. signature look) and head out. The messy bun keeps your hair from frizzing and also adds some natural waves when you decide to take it down.

Add some quick makeup before you go.

Lately, my lipstick of choice has been Tarte’s quick dry matte lip paint in the shade Festival. It’s a beautiful nude-mauve shade that tends to look great on a variety of skin tones.

There you have it! Your once casual-tee is now ready to be worn for a night out with the girls. Anything can be dressed up if you want it to… it just takes a bit of accessorizing and creativity!

Love always,

Nicki G.

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.

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.