Tuesday, December 30, 2014

LIFESTYLE: POST-HOLIDAY REBOOT



The indulgences have been made: mashed potatoes made from scratch, thick with sour cream in the food processor, molten lava cake with nutella oozing out, juicy turkey with gravy smothered all over it. I think I may have just made my own mouth water there. However, the holidays are over, and January first is approaching. No more Halloween candy, no more Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, and no more Christmas ham.

According to quora.com, "12% of new gym memberships come in January come by percentage, but it actually represents about a 33-50% increase in volume." That's a looot of newcomers at the gym. Like I discussed last year, resolutions shouldn't involve numbers. Numbers won't change your mindset from negative to positive. Numbers won't give you that extra pep in your step. Most certainly, numbers won't make your new years resolutions worthwhile. What you should be striving for is a feeling. I wish instead of numbers on a scale, they'd have levels of self-confidence and happiness. Instead of saying  "I want to be in the 140's" say, "I want to be in the glowing confidence level."


So, what will be your step ahead of those bandwagon gym-goers? What will be your assurance that you will accomplish your mental and physical health and wellness goals for the new year?

A good start could be trying a cleanse. This doesn't mean a full-on cleanse, it could be making small adjustments to your diet to rid toxins, promote weight loss, and increase energy. Once you flush out some holiday good toxins, your body can focus on reshaping itself inside out. Here are three ways to kickstart your health goals for 2015:


1. Drink More Water
Strive for 8 glasses of water a day  - and stick to it. Track your water intake on many apps available to you, such as MyFitnessPal and UP by Jawbone. I try to go for three plastic water bottles a day  - if you have a refillable one that's even better! Watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, and tomatoes also have a high water content. Water supports the kidneys. The kidney flush toxins out of your system.










2. Eat More Superfoods
Superfoods are SUPER good for you! They include beets, blueberries, watercress, apples, wild rice, papaya, brussels sprouts, lemons, and kale. The list goes on. These foods have extreme health benefits. Kale is great for cleansing. Citric acid in lemons dissolve built-up toxins. Betalin in beets s detoxifying. Also, avoid processed foods.













3. Detox To Go
One of my favorite Christmas Gifts this year is my Blogilates Detox Water Bottle. Sipping on lemon, cucumber, mint, apple, raspberry, lime, etc infused water is a sure-fire way to burn belly fat.














Good luck with your 2015 resolutions, lovelies! I have all the faith in the world in you all. Just like in the movie "Unbroken", "If you can take it you can make it."  GREAT movie, by the way! See you in the new year!
sources:
http://mysmartsnackscarepackages.com/collections/drinks/glaceau-smart-water
http://www.quora.com/What-percentage-of-new-gym-members-in-January-stop-coming-after-February
http://www.wikihow.com/Cleanse-Your-Body-Naturally


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Sunday, December 28, 2014

TAG: "THANKS-A-BUNCH" TAG

Christmas DAY might have passed, but I think it's still time to spread the cheer before we dive headfirst into NYE or even Valentines Day. Technically, the Christmas season has just begun in the church. I'm not only still dreaming of my outfits and the great food I have on Christmas, but I'm still excited about my gifts. It's good to be thankful for the gifts you received. That's why I made up this tag (my first tag)! It's called the "Thanks-A-Bunch" tag, and here are the rules:


Hre are my top three favorite gifts I received on Christmas morning:


 1. Bean Boots!
I'm so thankful for these because I heard that they were backordered, so I'm thankful my mother went to the outlet to find these. I love that they tie any fall or winter outfit together. I will use it to trudge through the mud, rain, and snow on campus. My school is near the water and closer to sea level, so puddles are everywhere!


2. My Husband Pillow

I am SO thankful for this pillow! I hate leaning over my computer and ruining my posture, so this is a comfy and fashionable way to save my back. It adds to my new zen vibe in my room. I can just imagine lounging in this, with a few candles going, my lamp, and my space heater warming up the place.  I'll use it to lounge and go on my computer. I hate doing work at my desk.


3. Sentimental Gifts

Sometimes the cheapest gifts are the ones that make the best impressions. This framed picture of Jackie, this calendar with pictures of my parents and I, and my mother and I's matching bracelets will keep them with me while I'm at school and in Greece this spring break. I love these gifts because they're so thoughtful. I'll use them to fill my dorm with my loving family. 


Now for YOUR TURN! I tag:
1. YOU
2. Jacquie of My Confessions
4. Paige of Paige by Paige
5. Sharon of Paleo Fondue 
7. Yadira of The Two Riveras
8. Jessica of Beyoutiful Beauty
10. Hannah of By Hannah Joy
13. Alana of Adventure Spices
14. Richa of Let's Doll Up
15. Laura from Cook, Wine, and Thinker  www.cookwineandthinker.com

It's your turn ladies! Can't wait to see your posts. Comment your post or tweet me @n_vergak. I hope you all had a wonderful year, and have high hopes for 2015.



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Manic Mondays with itsemmaelise




Thursday, December 25, 2014

STYLE: CHRISTMAS EVE & CHRISTMAS OOTD

Merry christmas! Are you feeling "Christmas AF?"

I sure am!


I hope you all have a relaxing, lovely day. We're having my family over. This is the first year we're doing a secret santa between my mother, her siblings and their spouses. However, I still get gifts from everyone. Perks of not being a fully-grown adult, right?

Here's my Christmas OOTD which I wore to church and dinner:



Velvet is the fabric of the season. I work at White House Black Market, and we have tonsssss of it. Crushed velvet dresses, blouses, blazer, leggings, tees, tans and pants. I got this blazer over a year ago from PacSun online. I thought it would go nice with black. Yes, I do plan on rocking this blazer to future jobs and internships. The PR world is trendy, right?


This velvet is reminiscent of the velvet dresses I used to wear as a baby on Christmas. I guess some things never change.

Blazer: Sound & Matter at PacSun
Tights: Forever 21
Necklace: Forever 21
Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: BOGO Jeans


Here's my Christmas outfit:


I recently picked up this shirt and a chambray shirt at the J Crew outlet when everything was 50% off. Great pick ups!

As you can see, I like to keep my holiday color scheme to red, black, and a bit of sparkle.

Skirt: TopShop
Blouse: J Crew
Tights: Forever 21

Thursday, December 18, 2014

LIFESTYLE: CHICKEN SAUSAGE AND KALE FRITTATA


Thanksgiving and Christmas morning lend themselves to a quick and light breakfast. Quick because you'll be busy either unwrapping presents, getting ready, or watching the parade. Light because you'll be stuffing yourself with heavy side dishes, deserts, main courses, appetizers, or perhaps some bubbly. I've always heard of "frittatas" but I've never had or made one. To me, it's a mix between a quiche and an egg pizza.



Baby kale is so delicate - it looks like a flower or a head of lettuce when it's chopped. It also wilts just like spinach.

To keep with my theme of light, I chose some nutrient and protein dense fillers: kale and chicken sausage. I love the al fresco chicken sausages, I chose the flavor roasted pepper and asiago. P.S. I had a breakfast sandwich on an asiago bagel this morning at Shaw Farm with my friends in town and I'm still dreaming of how good it was. Anyway, chicken sausage is a play on a breakfast sausage and the kale will give you a nutrient boost to start the holiday morning off.


First, I beat 12 whole large eggs in a bowl and mixed in my magic (cheddar and parmesan cheese).


In a large skillet, I started simmering butter, chicken sausage, kale, scallions, and fresh ground pepper.



Next, I combined my egg mixture with the cooked kale and sausage. At first, I was skeptical of putting the pan in the oven, but that's how Alton Brown did it, so in Alton I must trust.



There they are! EGG PIZZAS! I think I'm just going to call them egg pizzas from now on, and get laughed at in the culinary circle. I think it sounds better than frittata anyway.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!


Kale and Turkey Sausage Frittata
Ingredients:

  • 5 turkey sausages
  • 2 cups of kale or baby kale
  • 12 whole eggs (can use egg whites)
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Directions:
1. Cook the sausages, and slice them into 1/2 in pieces
2. Beat together the egg and pepper
3. Stir in the grated cheeses and set aside
4. In a large oven-proof non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
5. Stir in the kale, salt and pepper, and sausage until kale is wilted and sausage is browned.
6. Make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed on the bottom of the skillet, then add the egg mixture.
7. Let it cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes




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Five Cool Places to Go For Winter Break That Aren't By The Fireplace

There's nothing wrong with going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house for the holidays. There's also nothing wrong with going back home and snuggling with your dog all break. The holidays are meant to be relaxing, reviving, and maybe even a bit fattening. However, for some, far-off islands of the Mediterranean, Asia, or the Pacific are just as relaxing and reviving as a couch. Here are five cool places that people have spent the holidays.
panama









1. Panama
Panama is a beautiful destination surrounded by two coasts - one carribean and one Pacific. According to "Were What In The World", a travel blog, it's affordable for the holidays and New Years. White sandy beaches aren't far from offshore islands.
Colombia
2. Columbia
The holiday spirit doesn't skip over Columbia. The country's Caribbean coast is hailed and one of the world's treasures. Columbia also boasts, "many small boutique hotels, including luxury lodgings, plus interesting shops, sidewalk cafes, and loads of fine dining."
malaysia-1024x768
3. Malaysia
For those who find golf relaxing, Malaysia has 17 golf courses. For those who are adventurous, the country is also home to 200 species of birds, offers hiking trails and monkey-watching. The country has been described to have a laid-back vibe
aloha-christmas
4. Hawaii
Whenever I think about mixing Christmas with Aloha, I think of Mad Men. Don and Meghan went there one holiday. Down in Hawaii, the surf and the holiday cheer are at an all-time high. Hawaiian residents are just as excited for the season as us northerners.
Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.00.08 PM










5. Australia
Did you lose your christmas spirit? You may need to look Outback. Christmas is smack dab in the peak of the summer holiday down under. What's better than Christmas and the beach?
Personally, I've always stayed home for the holidays. Do you travel anywhere funky for the holidays?
sources:

LIFESTYLE: BAD JUJU TO GOOD VIBES

I'm a big fan of being more productive in a more organized environment. If I look around at a messy room and I have homework, I get stressed because I not only have to clean that mess, but I also have to do homework. (ugh). I'm also a firm believer that organization does not have to involve a huge upkeep. If you have a well-organized system, it should stay clean itself practically. If there's a spot for everything, and everything goes in its dedicated spot, then why should there be a mess? I know this sounds a lot easier than it is, I've learned that from having my friends parade in and out of my dorm room. Can't help that I'm so popular! (Mean Girls!)

However, I was experiencing unhappiness, unproductiveness, and just all-around bad juju in my room at home because of the unruliness of my bureau and my bed-side table. I should have taken before and after pictures, honestly. The top of my bureau was a place for keepsakes, trophies, foreign coins, prayer cards, headbands... trash... a lamp..  and a flower crown... essentially a mess. What started off with good intentions ended up being a free for all. My bedside table was for candles, my phone charger, my contacts, glasses, and prescriptions. The same happened there.

I have plans of redoing my room this summer, so that when I move in either an on or off campus apartment, I'll have one main set of decorations, pictures, and furniture. I also want to upgrade from a preppy/pop punk vibe (yikes) to a boho chic vibe. I took my first steps this weekend by reorganizing these two problem spaces with two table runners, a pedestal, and a metal box.

Picture from my instagram!

This is the final product. The top table runner is from Pottery Barn. I didn't realize how pricey it is there. The pedestal on top is from Marshalls. The bureau has a regal-boho vibe. It makes me feel important and chill. Not to mention, the pedestal goes well with my lamp that has similar hanging beads on it! Pictures of the lamp are below. I'm pretty sure I used a place mat for my bedside table. The place mat and metal box are both from Marshalls. Although my glasses, lotions, etc are all jammed in there, it's better than them being sprawled out all over the table. 


I've never been a practicer of Feng Shui, but this arrangement makes me feel so much better!


Love the floral details of the metal box.



On my pedestal rests my two awards, my Cape Cod license plate, and my Cape Cod candle, which now holds international coins. Those awards are my two from my collegiate cross country career so far: Rookie Of The Year and Student Athlete. I'm wicked smahhht! Also on this bureau is another candle, a prayer card, my "blues jar", my lamp, and a gold-dipped rose. A Blues Jar is a mason jar filled with little notes that I look at when I'm feeling down.


Loooving this design.




Jackie approves!

Where are your places to shop for Home Decor?

Do you feel more productive in an uncluttered space?



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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

STYLE: LUMBERJACK CHIC OOTD

I love winter fashion, I like to call it lumberjack chic (fingers crossed I get my bean boots for Christmas!) Here in the northeast, the options you have for bottoms are jeans or leggings. At least, that's what I've been feeling lately. However, I've been yearning to get out of my jeans and leggings slump. 
While I was out Christmas shopping a few weekends ago, I saw these brown pants at H&M. I felt inspired o start looking for brown or tan corduroys or pants. I knew I'd probably be able to pair it with flannels, vests, button-downs, and sweaters.

As always, I looked around the other stores and struck out. I found myself back at H&M to try these on and buy them. These mustard brown slacks were on sale for $25. 

I like how I feel dressed up but casual at the same time. I feel more put-together in these slacks.


Not to mention, I think it makes my butt look good ;). That's a very important unique selling proposition for me and pants!

I resurrected this cropped sweater from Forever 21 in my closet because I thought it would do splendidly.


I like that I can wear boots and socks or flats and sneakers with them.



It's a great staple piece to wear my favorite tops with - causal or dressy!

Cropped Sweater - Forever 21
Pants - H&M
Chevron Tunic - Charming Charlie
Socks - Forever 21
Boots - JustFab
Bag - Michael Kors