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.

Recipes

Meatless Beef Burrito

meatless beef burrito

Having a major burrito craving, but aren’t down to eat meat?

Been there.

And trust me, there are delicious substitutes. Keep reading for my meatless beef burrito- it won’t disappoint.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Lightlife Smart Ground
  • Large burrito tortillas
  • Choice of peppers, onions, and/or mushrooms, diced
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic (pre-minced, or two cloves, minced)
  • Diced onions (separate from above)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • 3-5 teaspoons of meat or marinara sauce
  • Cooking wine

Optional Ingredients

  • Shredded cheese
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Choice of seasoning for rice
    • Recommended: salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, 1/4 lime juice

Prep

You can kind of do this in whatever order you’d like. I started by heating up my cauliflower rice for 4 minutes with some water and the seasonings mentioned above. I simultaneously heated a medium skillet with olive oil on medium heat and added my diced onions. After three minutes, I mixed in the minced garlic and eyeballed the paprika. After about another 3 minutes, I added the drained and rinsed pinto beans. I let them heat up (5-6 minutes) and began smashing them with a fork. You can add chicken broth to keep them a little moist, but I just added some cooking wine and olive oil to avoid using chicken broth. Empty into a bowl once they’re done. Keep the beans and rice aside.

Now it’s time to prepare the crumbles. Lightly coat a larger pan with olive oil and heat it up on medium heat. Add the crumbles and break them apart so they start to look like actual ground beef. Add your peppers and ‘shrooms and whatever else you decided to mix in.

If the ground crumbles looks dry, add some cooking wine, olive oil, and a few teaspoons of marinara or meat sauce to moisten them up a little. Stir it all up until it starts looking fire. It should take about 6-8 minutes to fully cook, but use your judgement.

Pour the ground crumbles into a bowl so they don’t overcook in the pan. Warm up a tortilla between two wet paper towels on a microwave-safe plate for 30-45 seconds.

Now we’re ready to stuff that burrito, bitches.

Lay the warm tortilla flat on your plate and load the cauliflower rice first. Next, pile on as much beef as you want, and top it with the refried pinto beans. If you’re adding cheese, now’s the time to cheese it up with your choice of shredded cheese. Finish your stuffing with some lettuce and pico de gallo, and BAM, you’re almost done. I say almost, ’cause you still have to roll up the burrito, which is not as easy as Chipotle employees make it seem. Seriously, kudos to them. You’d think the cooking is the hardest part, but the burrito wrapping takes the cake.

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Once you master your wrapping, it’s time to munch down on your fat burrito. This meatless beef burrito is a great alternative to your usual beef burrito, and could be a great vegan meal if you skip out on the cheese or substitute it with almond cheese. Try out the recipe and let me know how you like it! This serving of meatless crumbles serves about 4 people, so be nice and cook for the family for once. Or eat burritos for your next four meals. Whatever you prefer. Tag #justnickithings and #eatwithme on Instagram if you try this out! I’d love to check out your versions.

Love, your burrito baby,

Nicki G.

Blog

Hangover Chronicles: II

If you’re reading this, then I managed to survive yet another terrible hangover. Why was I hungover on a Monday, you ask? Because everyone knows Sunday Funday is one of the best trends going around & I might be diagnosed with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I had to go. I just had to.

I attended the famous Kiki On The River to start my night of fun. We ate, we drank, and we had a great time. I’ll make sure to dedicate a post about their food and dining experience one of these days. As if endless frozé (see: frozen rosé) wasn’t enough, my friends and I decided to make an appearance at a new club Mr. Jones on the beach. Been there? Maybe- it’s where SET Nightclub used to be & I see it being one of my new favorite clubs. Side-note: the club was slammed and it was a Sunday night… do you people not have responsibilities? Let me be you!

After a heart to heart conversation with my Uber driver & getting home at 4 a.m. to a very annoyed mother, I knocked out.

Hangover Chronicles
Actual text from my mom. Sunday Funday- that’s why!

Waking up to gardeners outside my window this morning was fun. My friend slept over, so luckily I didn’t have to do this alone. After many thoughts and considerations, I decided that being vegan and surviving this hangover were two things that didn’t go hand in hand. One had to go, and I wasn’t planning on dying today. Stay tuned for a post on my vegan experience soon to come.

It seemed like an eternity went by before the pizza was delivered. I ate some, (which did not sit well AT ALL… how could you do this to me, cheesy goodness?) and was somehow convinced to NOT be a couch potato all day. A few hours of nausea and dehydration at its finest, I somehow managed to hold down my stomach contents and didn’t throw up. I did almost throw up in the Sushi Sake bathroom, though, but again I escaped that horror.

It’s 10 p.m. and I think I’m now getting over my hangover. Either that or I’m just so tired & I can’t tell the difference between my exhaustion and usual shitty hangover.

Stay thriving (and I will too),

Nicki G.