fashion

STYLE: NEW YEARS EVE OOTD IDEAS

December 28, 2013

Don't have any ideas for NYE yet? Fear not! I have just the fix. I've recently become affiliated with a website called SwayChic. They design trendy clothes for young women. They're unique clothes are nothing like what you'll find in a mall. If you wear one of their dresses out on NYE, you'll be sure to turn some heads and turn up the heat.

What's better? EVERYTHING on the website is currently 50% off! Shop now using this link to get a discount!

Here are some of my favorite picks:




I'm cuckoo for platform and wedge sandals lately. I love getting the illusion without compromising comfort. These babies are only going for $38! Waay cheaper than Jeffery Campbell but just as stunning!

I love that these dresses encompass many trends for the season such as velvet and peekaboo lace and mesh. They're edgy, daring, and fabulous - just like every women out there that wears them. If you want to be daring act now while these amazing prices last!


christmas

STYLE: Christmas OOTD and Recipe Roundup

December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my lovely readers! I'm writing this post on Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve my family goes to Mass at 4, eats homemade lasagna, and then the rest of the night is filled with relaxing, opening one gift, and preparing the cookies for Santa and the turkey stuffing for tomorrow. It's our first christmas in our new home. I'm super excited to wake up to Christmas Day in a new home and to have all of the family over to celebrate!

Now, for my outfit.



Watch my video on this.
However my dress, socks, and tights are from Forever 21. My shoes are from TJ Maxx. My necklace is from a boutique in Hawaii. 
Now for my makeup. I used a Revlon bb cream, BH Cosmetics eyeliner, Benefit eyeshadow, Bare Essentuals lipstick, and Physicians Formula concealer. My eyeshadow and blush are from Studio Gear Cosmetics. If you're interested in buying their Holiday Palette or any other products from http://studiogearcosmetics.com/, use my discount code "DOLLAR13" for an extra 10% off!




Now for the yummiest part of the day, the fooood! First, I made white chocolate peppermint popcorn. The only "clean" part of this was that I used "Skinny Pop."
here's where I got the recipe.

The second sweet treat I successfully made was crinkle cookies. I always wondered how Panera got their red velvet ones to look just like that. Now I do! (Psst, the secret is powdered sugar.) They came out absolutely lovely. Check out the recipe here!

I also roasted up some green beans and sweet potatoes with goat cheese!

Lastly, I'll share a bit of what I got. I got a crosley record player, a wireless printer, an "up" activity tracker, a jacket, a cardigan, some trail mix, a pilates DVD and a pilates ball, and a Cape Cod alex and ani bracelet. I'm so incredibly happy and blessed!



Aaaannd one last note: post-christmas shopping! I scored some amazing deals. I've never been so content with my purchases and how I budgeted my money. I suggest going in with a plan, know what you want and how much you want to spend on it. That's just what I did at lush and I got the price I wanted. I'd like to highlight the amazing fringe and floral cardigan I scored at Forever 21. It was on sale for $20.99! It seems like velvet and fringe and going to be huge trends coming up. Here's a preview - however watch out for a huge haul of this on my youtube coming up!


However we all know that besides the gift of giving and getting, Christmas is about being renewed. Whether your are religious or not, take this time of year to renew yourself in your heart and your head. Reflect on the past year, take a deep breath, and think about how you can better yourself in 2014. A gift is not all about how much you spent on it, but whether it came from your heart to their heart. Have a great day, holiday season, and year everyone!

blogilats

LIFESTYLE: HOLIDAY HIIT

December 21, 2013

'Tis the season for sweating. For myself and other athletes who's seasons are in the fall, the winter and spring are the only true seasons where you have freedom to do any exercise you wish. I love doing Pilates and Zumba, however lately I've been getting into interval training. This is not excluding the non-athletes out there, though! Intervals are one of the most efficient way to burn fat and build muscle because of how dynamic the work out is. Do this workout before christmas so you can thoroughly enjoy your Christmas meal, or after to burn it off. Or both!

My professional and fitness hero and goddess Cassey Ho of blogilates always constructs "Pop HIIT" workouts containing eight exercises that are meant to be done in an interval. HIIT stands for "high intensity interval training" and that's what it is. My favorite thing about intervals or "Pop HIITs" is that they mix between cardio exercises and muscle exercises. It's the fastest and most fun way to burn fat and build muscle at the same time!



I made this circuit festive by making it holiday themed! Do this 3 times through. 30 sec rest in between each exercise and 1 min between each set. You can do it!

1. Reindeer flying split lunges - 1 min
We're starting by working your quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings. Working these muscle groups will get your heart rate up right off the bat! This is a mix of jumping split lunges and wide-legged squats. do three jumps of the split lunges and then do a middle squat. Repeat for one minute.

Split lunges:
coreexercisestudio.com


2. Tree Topper Toe Touches - 1min 
Top the tree by laying on your back and reaching for your toes. This way you get some decorating done and work your abs at the same time!


3. Ice Skaters - 1 min
This one's for your glutes, calves, and heart. For this move you'll be doing the well-known cardio moves the skater, where you carefully hop from one leg to the next. Hold dumbbells in both hands for added resistance.

coreexercisestudio.com

4. Santa delivers around the world lunge - 10 each leg
For this move you'll just be doing an around the world lunge. It may look confusing, but you just keep one leg stationary while the other one goes back, side, then front. It's great for your glutes, calves, and quads.


5. Busy elf bicycle crunches - 45 seconds
Here's an ab blast - 45 seconds of bicycle crunches. Don't do them too fast or you won't see any results!
manualsport.net


6. Candy Cane kettle bell swings - 12
I loove me some kettle bell swings. They really target your leg and arm muscles. Do twelve of these.
kettlebellfitnessdk.wordpress.com


7.  Fighting shopper double cross jab - 1 min
Fight off those pesky holiday shoppers who want the same item as you! For this, you hook your jab diagonally across your body for two beats, so it's a double cross.


8. Milk and cookies oblique reach - 45 seconds
Burn off those milk and cookies with this oblique reach. Lay down on your back with your legs bent a little. Reach from the inside and touch your shoelaces or the top of your foot. Do this for 45 seconds



There it is! I hope you guys worked your tushies off. Tell me if you did, and send me a picture of how great and sweaty picture by tweeting it to @n_vergak with the hashtag #sweatyissexy. Only if you want, but this is something i'd so do. Even if you don't complete the whole circuit maybe you can pick up a few moves from here. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Happy sweating!

beauty

Review: Studio Gear Cosmetics Holiday Pallete

December 17, 2013

It's about time I review another product - so why not a Holiday themed makeup palette. So, the nice folks at Studio Gear Cosmetics sent of their "Smoky Eye Holiday Palette"s my way. I based my whole makeup look I'll be doing Christmas Day and Christmas Eve! I might even use it on New Years, because it helps you create the ultimate smoky eye, and mostly every holiday calls for one.

Here it is!

It comes fully equipped with directions on how to shade your smoky eye perfectly and what brushes to use. I haven't invested in any of their brushes yet, however I intend on it. You all should, too. Hopefully I can have them give me a discount code for all of you lovely readers! The colors in the palette are a dark "coal", a light and bright "frost", a light but smoky "platinum:, and a gold, warm "glimmer." The blush in the middle is called "snow glow." Now, with all of the directions and the colors with adorable names, we're ready to make the smoky eye. But how do we?

A Smoky Eye the Studio Gear Cosmetics Way: 
1. Prime your eyelids and brush "frost" from lash line to brow bone.
2. Apply "platinum" from lash line to the crease.
3. Make a v shape from the outer corners of your eye in with coal
4. Highlight your brow bone with "glimmer."
5. Blend it all together with a blending eyeshadow brush.

Here's my face when it's all finished!


I applied bb cream, blush, and bronzer, I filled in my eyebrows and I finished with a Revlon lipstick in "plum perfect." I'm very happy with how it all came out. I'm overall satisfied with the studio gear cosmetics palette. With the useful colors, and helpful steps I'll definitely be looking into purchasing more from the website. If you're interested as well, (and you should be), here's the contact info:

twitter: @SGearCosmetics
instagram: studiogearcosmetics
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StudioGearCosmetics

WANT A DISCOUNT CODE ON THS MAKEUP KIT? USE DOLLAR13 FOR 10% OFF!!


Here's my video using this palette in live action!



blogger

LIFESTYLE: FO SHO CLEAN DONUTS

December 13, 2013


I was browsing Bed, Bath & Beyond my mother one day. I didn't direly need anything, however I knew that some friends and bloggers mentioned finding little donut pans there. They are mold for donuts. I loved the idea of getting creative with "clean" donuts. I found a pan, and I made a recipe, and boom! Being the holiday season I found it appropriate to make these pumpkin pie inspired donuts. They're scrumptious as ever and don't have a trace of processed sugar or pumpkin puree. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1/4 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 4 packets of stevia
- 1/4 cup almond milk

*these measurements make 6-8

bake at 350 for 20 min, and enjoy these tasty morsels!

amazon

SHOPPING: PERSONALITY GIFT GUIDE

December 08, 2013

As far as blogging goes, I'm a gift guide virgin. I've never done a gift guide post because I feel like my advice wasn't good enough. However, I thought of an interesting angle to attack this post at. I used some inspiration from how I shop for myself and others.

When shopping, the two things I look for are a good price and it's functional. My philosophy on gift giving is to make sure the recipient will actually use it, otherwise it's useless. I always take things that I'm using that someone gave to me as a gift with special care. Hopefully your friends and family will do the same thing, with the help of this guide. To ensure this, I'm going to give suggestions based on personality types. If you want to give your bff who wear denim cut offs and listen to underground music something that's her cup of tea but you have no idea what, here's where I come in!

1. The Musical Type
This can mean anyone who either plays an instrument, sings, goes to countless shows and concerts (me), or has over 3000 iTunes songs (sadly, also me). These are general suggestions however you can customize it to their own favorite bands and artists!


1. Vinyls 2. Headphones 3. iHome  4. Band Tees

2. The Sporty Type
There's always your friends that are very athletic or like sports. They're always trying to blend athletic wear with street clothes. They're the ones that drag you to the gym. Show them you care about their interests!



3. The Techy Type
We all have those friends who know exactly what's new and next when it comes to tech. If they have the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c just came out, they're trading it in right away. Here's some ideas for them!



4. The Adventurous Type
Some of our loved ones just want an experience, simple materials things just won't cut it. So if it's an experience they want, give it to them!



5. The Fashionable Type
This is where I satisfy all you readers who wanted a typical "gifts for him/her" section. These are all under 100$ and 100 % stylish to satisfy your friends who are aways on trend!

1. Kendall and Kylie Clothes 2. Killer Shades 3. Neff Headgear 4. Button-Ups

6. The Funny/ Random Type
We all know that there are a lot of useless but hilarious gifts out there. They always amuse me as they line the que in a store or catch my attention at the check-out. When it comes to online shopping, websites like Urban Outfitters have a 5$ section dedicated to these types. I found some gems!





Wow, that was tiring to make. However I did it to hopefully make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. I hope this helped. Happy shopping!

advertise

Work With Me

December 03, 2013

Hey there!

Do you think we have a similar audience of witty, smart and snappy individuals? Do they not only enjoy self-help lifestyle content, but also humorous content about the current state of the world? Think about working with us. At TMWGAN, we're willing to collaborate in a multitude of ways  - including, but not limited to: guest posts, sidebar ads, sponsored posts, social media takeovers and more! Here's our audience statistics:

UMV: 1,800
Main country for traffic: USA
All-time page views: 108,500
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Psychographics: interested in bettering themselves, educated, up on current trending topics, enjoys digital media, enjoys comedy

So, how can we work together, and what's the cost?
Below is the list of services and ways we can work together. Have another idea? Great, shoot me an email. All of these prices are available for debate, lower or higher. 

Guest blog post: free
Sponsored product review: product sample 
Sidebar banner: $10/month
Social media takeover: $20 a day

Have another idea? Want to work together? Email nvergakes@gmail.com




baking

Lifestyle: Post-Thanksgiving Munchies

December 02, 2013

After Turkey Day and all of the yumminess of cheat day is over, it's safe to say we can enter a post-cheat day depression after being teased with a day full of fall goodies. This year I made pumpkin cookie-turkey with chocolate chips as eyes and candy corn feathers. They were divine. I also made some clean mashed sweet potatoes, check out the recipe on my my youtube channel
Anyway, after baking for the holidays I thought I'd whip up something for me to bring back to school. I decided to make chocolate walnut banana bars to satisfy any cravings that arise as opposed to sneaking a snickers from the vending machine. As usual all of these ingredients are clean and way more healthful than other processed snacks out there. I got the recipe from instagram.com/bomshellgym, one of my many favorite "fitspo" instagrams. I think I follow more of those than my friends and influencers, oops!


Ingredients:
2 bananas (microwaved)
1 cup of blended oats
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of chunky all natural peanut butter
1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
3/4 tablespoons of chopped walnuts



First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, the most important part!

Next, I put 1 cup of old fashion oats in the blender and pulse it on the blend setting until it's the consistency of a flour.

Next, the recipe called to add the rest of the ingredients, but the banana was too hard to mix right in, so I microwaved it for one minute.

After it was done, I mixed the bananas, chocolate chips, walnuts, and peanut butter all with the oats.

The warm banana melted the chocolate and made it look even more delicious!

Finally, I spread the mixture in a tin pan with a layer of pam cooking spray and baked it for 15 minutes.

Oulah! 



boots

Style: Turkey Day OOTD!

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving lovelies! What are you thankful for? I'm obviously thankful for the supportive people in my life and the new experiences I've been having. I'm for the most part dedicating this holiday season my Nanny and Papa that I lost in March. They were the best story of true love I've ever seen. I thought I'd celebrate Turkey Day by showing you my OOTD!



For my face I did my usual go-to fancy makeup with a smoky eyeshadow look and winged eyeliner.  I brightened up the look with my Rimmel lipstick in "Back to Fuschia."

I'm OBSESSED with this quarter-sleeved dress from Forever 21. It's fitted perfectly with tight at the bottom sleeves and loose shoulder, and it's cinched at the waist for an hourglass shape. I paired it with some white festive lace tights and my brown riding boots. I accessorized with my pandora and Alex and Ani bracelets.

Look at these adorable pumpkin spice cookies I made that look like Turkeys!


Lastly, here's a video I made for my sweet potato casserole recipe. It's clean and delicious. I would definitely try it on your family at Christmas.


both recipes were a huge hit!



Happy Gobbling!

antioxidants

LIFESTYLE: THE BROKE COLLEGE GIRL'S GUIDE TO EATNG CLEAN

November 23, 2013

College can be one of the hardest times to stay on a healthy diet, however it may be one of the most important. College is a fish bowl of health risks, including stress that can strain a health lifestyle, over indulgence of alcohol, and the sheer fact of living in a dorm and sharing a bathroom with upwards of 40 other people is daunting for your immune system. Being overly stressed is linked to a bad immune system, and weight gain. Of course, college and stress adds to lack of sleep and it is proven to lead to weight gain as well.

Some of us may not be as lucky to be student-athletes like me. When you run about 30 miles a week with a team, keeping the "freshman fifteen" is easier to keep off. However, whether your doing an organized sport or not it's important to stay active. Whether your active or not, however, eating key ingredients in each meal while you're living in  fish bowl of stress and germs will help you feel less, well, germ-y. Hopefully these tips help!


photo from http://www.dimellashaffer.com/

PS - That's the dining and residence halls at my school! weee!



HOW TO NAVIGATE THE DINING HALL
If you ask most college students, depending on the college, they will give you very unflattering descriptions of the food that their dining halls serve. The food service at my school is "Chartwells," and students here have many creative, unflattering nicknames for the company. Students can go on forever about how to food is not fresh, undercooked, and there's no variety. However, this just required you to go outside of the box!

When I enter the hall, I usually survey the food of the day. I try to stick to pasta only once a week, because usually only white (not whole wheat) pasta is used because it's the easiest and cheapest to make. If the pizza or pasta has vegetables on it, like veggie lasagna or spinach-stuffed pasta of some sort, I'll go with that and some salad. However if there is nothing to my taste I have my go-to. Always have a go to. Usually, the grill that serves us hot dogs and burgers will have other options. I always ask for turkey burgers or grilled chicken. One of my favorite things to do is ask for two pieces of grilled chicken, make a salad at the salad bar and put the grilled chicken on top! Or, have grilled chicken and vegetables if there are any sauteed vegetables.
I have to say my all-time favorite go to is wraps! Here, we have wheat, white, sun-dried tomato or spinach wraps available. I choose any that's not white. In my wrap I like to put any type lean protein, be it hummus, tuna, turkey, or chicken and tons of vegetables. I love to put honey mustard on mine. I like to have these with either a salad, soup, grilled veggies, or if they have them, sweet potato fries! Yum!

As for drinks and desserts, I like to stick to getting desert once a week. One day they had apple crisp and I couldn't help myself. I usually like to stick with water or chocolate soy milk for a drink. one thing to remember when you survey the buffet at the dining hall - keep your meal balanced! Try to incorporate some sort of lean protein, vegetables and whole grain if you can. Think of your plate as an artist's palette.  


photo from yelp.com


CHEAP CLEAN SNACKS
I feel like I always have a black hole in my stomach. Maybe it's from being a runner, or just a college student in general. So, when it comes to snacks I always want to buy in bulk. My favorite part of Hannaford's or any grocery store is the dry food section! If you've missed it before, it's the section that looks like a candy store, but instead of flowing candy from the machines, it's granola, nuts, and dried fruit that flows from the machine. I just take my pick from the array, fill it up in a bag and check it out. So when it comes to snacks, try to stay within 100-200 calories. My favorite snacks are nuts, fruits, pita chips and hummus, or Special K chips. Any of those can be 3$ or under, however nuts can be expensive. That's why it's best to buy in bulk!



BEST FOOD FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
As I mentioned before, living in a dorm is like living in a fishbowl of sickness. One great way to combat this, paired with enough rest, is adding these key ingredients to your diet.
1. BLUEBERRIES! Blueberries are very rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which combat illnesses very well. I love the naked "blue machine" smoothie. it contains 100% vitamin A and E. The "O-J" juice contains 5 whole oranges and 100% vitamin C.* Raspberries are just as good!
2. Vitamin C - The best way to get your vitamins is eat your colorful fruits. However you definitely need an increased intake of vitamin C. This is where a supplement would increase. I take a multivitamin gummy, however you could take a vitamin C supplement.
3. Coconuts and coconut oil. Not only is it yummy but it helps your immunity. Who knew?
4. Green Tea and Matcha Green tea is helpful for the same reason as blueberries, they antioxidants. There is a multitude of health benefits to green tea, including that it aids in weight loss and defying aging, however the antioxidant content helps you avoid a stuffy and runny nose. Matcha is a new food trend, I've noticed it on my queen Cassey Ho (Blogilates on YouTube)'s channel. Matcha is milled green tea powder. You can use it like you would whey protein, put it in smoothie and such. Matcha is used nowadays to flavor mochi and soba noodles, which are both deeeelicious! It contains the antioxidant EGCG which boosts the metabolism, that's why everyone is going matcha crazy.

I hope you all learned how to eat a bit healthier in college. I know it's hard to eat fresh, trust me. Food goes bad way too quickly in my dorm and I'm not allowed to have my car here, so I can't easily drive to the closest supermarket. However make do, just like in all situations!




*information from https://www.nakedjuice.com/our-products*

by

2013 FALL HAUL

November 10, 2013

I went shopping recently for some fall staples from Nordstorm and Forever 21. Watch below and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube!


american eagle

Style: These Boots Are Made For Killing It

November 01, 2013

Have you ever acquired a piece of your wardrobe and just had no other words for your excitement but "UGH. I CAN'T"!? Maybe you have other words of excitement that aren't so stereotypical white girl, however these boots just made me speechless. I almost squealed as I saw them scrolling through JustFab.com. I highly recommend you getting your staple riding boots for fall there if you want to look like you broke the bank without actually breaking it. Another reason I'm excited is because I actually somehow misplaced my Aldo riding boots when I moved houses this summer.. maybe it was the movers.. hmmm. (just kidding!)


I'm way too obsessed with the details of these light brown suede beauties. I love that the toe is almost ombre, it is dark to light. I love the buckle detail as well. They fit like a glove and I can easily just slip them on.
They make any outfit sophisticated and are perfect for walking around in fall!


Here, I paired them with jeggings from Delias in a dark wash, a white v neck, a camo button down with jeweled details, and my new favorite gold necklace from BP by Nordstrom. I didn't forget my arm candy, of course. 

I'm dying to know, what do your staple boots for fall look like?

diy

STYLE STEAL

October 25, 2013


This is a classic 60's style Peter Pan collar dress. It is made from a smooth, silky synthetic fabric with lace accents at the collar and sleeves. It has puff sleeves, darts at the waist for a perfect fit and a long invisible zipper down the back for easy donning. I can make this dress in different color combinations and lengths, please inquire! Looks great with lace tights. Made-to-order by hand in New Orleans with a vintage pattern and recycled or new materials. *This item is available for wholesale order, please inquire at altarthelabel@gmail.com for details. Thanks for looking!

diy

Haute-O-Ween

October 23, 2013

Living in Salem, Massachusetts halloween has been on my mind since the beginning of September. Apparently, it's been on the fashion designers and brands' minds as well. This autumn has been a lovely three-way marriage of good timing: fall sweater weather kicking in, the trends of black and white and skulls and spikes, as well as Halloween actually starting. This marriage has produced the cutest "Halloweenie" fall trends. I found an adorable and affordable outfit exemplifying these trends!

This chic skull sweater is perfect for both winter and fall.  It's just like every trend this season: a mix of girly and edgy. You can find it at urbanog for $36.70!
I'm obsessed with these ghouly and girly bat leggings from Urban Outfitters for $19.99. They're almost ombre with the bats!

I know these are a little out of price range, but Doc Martens does the black bootie perfectly. These are on point to top this costume off for $120.
This is almost too cute to be spooky. This is a bone cuff from Karmaloop for $39.95. That is steep for costume jewelry, however it is from Karmaloop, a website that takes designer clothes and sells them at half of retail price. A gold yet eerie piece is perfect for topping off this outfit.

Coming from a girl that can't stand to watch any of the Paranormal Activity movies, I'm in love with this look and the trends. The irony of feeling cute in usually spooky things intrigues me. Maybe living in witch city has me biased, however it sells. Tis the season!

Listen:
Tonight's The Kind Of Night - Noah And The Whale
Another Is Waiting - The Avett Brothers