Saturday, December 28, 2013

STYLE: NEW YEARS EVE OOTD IDEAS

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!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

STYLE: Christmas OOTD and Recipe Roundup

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!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

LIFESTYLE: HOLIDAY HIIT

'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!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: Studio Gear Cosmetics Holiday Pallete

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!



Friday, December 13, 2013

LIFESTYLE: FO SHO CLEAN DONUTS


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!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

SHOPPING: PERSONALITY GIFT GUIDE

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!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Lifestyle: Post-Thanksgiving Munchies

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!