Food Spots

Artichoke Pizza

What’s better than pizza? Pizza after a night out. I finally tried Artichoke Pizza‘s Miami location- and it did not disappoint. I had a gigantic slice of their classic artichoke pizza, and it was f*cking phenomenal. I don’t even like artichoke. What even is artichoke?

Their first non-New York location is in Miami Beach, in front of  Ricky’s (1222 16th St, Miami Beach). It’s a perfect late-night munching option when you’re out on the beach. Each slice ranges from $3.00 – $5.00, which makes it an affordable post-party snack. The slices are sharable, but I don’t think you’ll want to. I can’t wait to go back and try their other slices! Check them out next time you’re in the area!

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Stay cheesy,

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.

 

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.

Recipes

Crispy Quesadilla

It’s lunch time, and I was craving a quesadilla. Obviously, I came home and made one. Follow these quick and easy steps to making this delicious, crispy quesadilla… and feel free to replace my stuffing choices for some of your own!

Ingredients

  • Large tortilla
  • Shredded cheese of choice (I used cheddar and mozzarella)
  • Mushrooms
  • Green peppers
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

Prep

In a large skillet or pan, warm up your tortilla on low heat. Move it around so the entire thing gets warmed. Simultaneously, begin sautéing your mushrooms and peppers (or whatever you decide to stuff your quesadilla with) on medium heat on another pan. Don’t forget to lightly grease the pan with olive oil and season your stuffing with salt and pepper. This should take about five to seven minutes to complete.

Once your mushrooms and peppers are about done cooking, add some cheese to half the tortilla. This pan should still be on low heat. Add your sautéed ingredients and a little more cheese. Flip over the other half of the tortilla so it begins to form.

Raise the heat just a little bit, and add about two teaspoons of water to the saucepan (pro-tip from @carbzandgarbz on Instagram!). Cover the pan and let your quesadilla warm up. After a few minutes, flip it over to allow the top to cook. Once your quesadilla is at your desired crispy-ness, you’re ready to munch out.

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This bomb quesadilla only takes about five minutes to prepare and 10-12 to cook. It’s easy, quick, and so tasty! Spice it up with different fillings and let me know how it comes out! You can also substitute the cheese for almond cheese if you don’t eat dairy.

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Happy eating,

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.

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

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.