Sunday, May 25, 2014

REVIEW: BOSTON CALLING MUSIC FESTIVAL DAY 1

I believe that nothing in this life is just a coincidence. In this post I will explain an example in my life that proves this, I'm writing this on a flight to Florida, my family and i are taking a vacation in gorgeous Key West this week. (Well, I hear it's gorgeous.) If you guessed that I'm running on little to no sleep, and hat I had a very stressful and early morning, you guessed right. However, I couldn't be happier right now.

The spring lineup for Boston Calling seems amazing, and I was so bummed about not going to see all of it. At first, I was so bummed about missing Bastille, Brand New, The Neighbourhood, the Head and the Heart, and more because of me being in Florida this weekend, but I may have discovered a favorite new artist of mine! So, my friend Ashley and I opted to just buy tickets for Friday night, where Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Jack Johnson were playing.



At first I was less than thrilled, only knowing a few key Edward Sharpe songs and even fewer Jack Johnson songs. I also wasn't excited to have a late night followed by an early morning.

However right when you least expect it, life surprised you. Experiencing a concert in City Hall Plaza on a cool spring evening in my favorite city was just what I needed.

The set was so cool, with the big city hall steps, Coachella-esque stages, and the city lights. The crowd for the most part was chill, and the hilarious drunk people around us was enough entertainment for me. 



But the music was the highlight! I like to listen to loud music on occasion, but I'm also a huge fan of folk. Tonight gave me a bigger appreciation for folk. The swaying crowd of shoulder sitters, singalongs, and flower crowns put me in a trance. Side note, I DID have the best and biggest flower crown there. 

I'm also kicking myself for not listening to Jack Johnson! Just like a drunk girl exclaimed behind me, his music makes me so happy. I know that he's going to be my most abused iTunes Radio station. 

Until the fall, Boston Calling.

Oh, in case you were wondering, here's the fall lineup:


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LIFESTYLE: PRESTO PESTO

Ah, I've missed doing recipes. Between me living in a dorm and being busy, I haven't really had time to do one! I apologize. However, between Mother's Day, and my mother's birthday on Saturday, May 17, two appliances have recently been brought into the house. Both were gifts from me, to my mother.

They're both Hamilton Beach. One is a high-powered blender, and the other is a food processor. Now, I can make all of the smoothie, cauliflower pizzas, clean ice cream, and cookie dough bites I want! Also, that means I can share all of the recipes with you!

One of my favorite sauces recently is a pesto. At first, it may sound and look unappealing, but it is earthy and warm, a tad spicy and overall delectable! My mother picked up some ingredients at Trader Joes today while I was at work, and when I came home we got cookin'!

Here is the recipe for our Italian Pesto Chicken dinner. You can use these ideas on how to serve it, or just use the pesto recipe if you'd like!

Nikki and Karen's Italian Pesto Chicken

Chicken:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • Goya seasoning

Pesto:
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese

Vegetables:
  • Snow Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
Cooking:
We grilled on our outdoor grill, but a stove top can do the trick. Grill the chicken until there's no more pink, and make sure you rub it with salt, pepper, and Goya for the perfect taste. It was a bit sweet and spicy.
For the vegetables, we grilled them in a pan with goat cheese until fully cooked.

Pesto:
As for the Pesto, it couldn't have been easier! Just combine the pine nuts, oil, herbs, and cheese in the bowl of a food processor (or blender), and process until it's the consistency you'd like.

Voila! If I were you, I'd make extra pesto for next-day use. Boil up some whole grain pasta or spaghetti squash and use it on that!

Even better idea: clean chicken parmesan. Use the same recipe for the chicken, but melt some mozzarella cheese over the pesto. My mouth is already watering! Then, you use the leftover pesto on either the spaghetti squash or whole grain pasta. I'm a genius, I know, I've been told.

Thank you guys so much for reading! If you try this recipe out, put it on instagram and tag me, @n_vergak, or on twitter do the same!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

STYLE: APRIL BEAUTY AWARDS AND SURPRISE GIVEAWAY!

Hello hello! I have some exciting announcements for you all today. First, my monthly "beauty award" series is out. I have the picks and prices here and a video of me talking them up and attempting to be funny is here, on my YouTube Channel.




Red Converse, $33.36, Amazon
Aveeno Calming lotion (saved my skin!), $13, target
Barbara's Puffins cereal, $18, grocery stores
Oversized chain necklace, $6, Charlotte Russe

I hope you guys end up loving those products as well! The shoes and the necklaces have become my go-to staples.

My other exciting news is that I'm teaming up with some other bloggers for a super awesome giveaway! We all donated money so that we can share the wealth. The stakes are high: a $100 Target gift card and a $15 Starbucks gift card.

Want to win? Just rack up your points here. The more activities you do and share, the better chance you have of winning!

Just click here to view and enter the giveaway. Here's my Beauty Awards video while you're at it, thanks!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

STYLE: MOTHER-DAUGHTER OOTD!

Happy Mother's Day, lovelies! I hope you all had a lovely day. I sure did.

My mother and I walked around the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain in Boston today for Lilac Sunday.




The lilacs were in full bloom, for the most part, and spring definitely has sprung. We both rocked spring-y looks so I thought I'd do a Mother-Daughter OOTD post with my lovely mother, Karen.

The food truck festival had  something for everyone, including long lines. "Cameo Macaron", "Frozen Hoagies", "The Dining Cart", "Mei Mei Street Kitchen", "Boston's Baddest Burger", "Captain Marden's Cod Squad", and more lined the roads of the arboretum. We chose Mei Mei Street Kitchen, which has a restaurant on Park Drive. The asian food truck serves up the "double awesome", which was a scallion pancake which housed a soft poached egg, pesto, and cheddar cheese inside.


We then stolled through the Holocaust memorial, and Fanuel Hall/Quincy Market. We finally ended the night dining in the North End.

Now for our outfits!





I was inspired by a 60's silhouette. I sported a denim bralette top from Urban Outfitters and a denim circle skirt from Forever 21. I wore a simple cardigan from Alternative, a boutique on Martha's Vineyard. However I ended up losing it halfway through the day and baring my arms, it got so hot!

My white necklace is form Forever 21. I'm in love with my new Steve Madden sandals. Lastly, I bought myself (with some Amazon Cash I came across recently) my first Michale Kors bag! I plan on using this for school next year, but I'm breaking it in a bit early. On my lips is impassioned by Mac.



My mother rocked a bright yellow sweater from Avenue and black capris from Target. She also kept it stylish and comfortable with sandals from The North Face.

I hope you all had a lovely day, keep enjoying this gorgeous weather!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

7 Phrases That Mean One Thing to High School students , But a Totally Different Thing to College Students

If you're an on-campus resident, or even a commuter, you're living on a college budget time and money wise. You have diminished resources, but those resources need to constantly be replenished. It's hard to find time to sleep, there's always another task to do, and it's the hardest to find edible food sometimes. It's almost like being in the Hunger Games except the Dining Hall is like a cornucopia and you're not always excited about what's in it. That's why I thought of some phrases that mean one thing to non-tributes, but another thing to college kids.

"Come, there'll be free food!"
Highschool kids: I guess I'll be skipping out on mom's dinner tonight. I hope it's as good.
College kids: YES. I DON'T HAVE TO EAT DINING HALL FOOD. ONE MEAL AWAY FROM FOOD POISONING. OH, AND I CAN SAVE SOME QUARTERS FOR LAUNDRY!




"Nap time"
Highschool kids: If I have some extra time, maybe I'll sneak in a power nap. I'm feeling a bit famished.
College kids: This is the only way I can survive today, it's more necessary than studying between bio lecture and lab. The doctor's best cure for my post all-nighter of studying or all-nighter of drinking... or both. AKA the only compensation for 8AM classes.




"Bagels"
Highschool kids: Sometimes I get them at Dunkins, Starbucks, Einsteins or others places. It's a good way to spice up my breakfast routine, and sometimes I even put meat and cheese between the two slices!
College kids: The only form of nourishment you will receive, multiple times a week. Maybe every day if you're lucky. Especially if there's a great bagel place down the street form your school (Bagel World in Salem!)




"It's been a long week"
Highschool kids: I had a test,  and a research paper due that I had months to do. I also worked 3 night shifts.
College kids: I had two exams, a paper that I found out a week ago due, an audition, a basketball game, I had to get a hold off of my account from not paying a bill, I had to stop three of my friends from not having mental breakdowns, had two cans of beer thrown at me, and the people above me just started taking step irish step dancing. 



"I haven't seen you in so long!"
Highschool kids: I haven't hung out with you outside of school in like a month!
College kids: I haven't seen you in like 4 days because our class that meets twice a week was cancelled and I haven't seen you around the dorms, did you die?



"Finals week"
Highschool kids: I have to review everything that happened in this class even though I already have a pretty good grip on it. It's the only thing between me and summer!
College kids: WHAT HAPPENED THIS SEMESTER? WHERE DID IT GO? WE LEARNED THIS? Excuse me while I go to the library with my all of my books and and IV pump of caffeine, I will return when I am solely skin and bones.



"Going to concerts" 
Highschool kids: Yay! My favorite band/artists is coming to town. I'll drive my friends in and we'll all pitch in for parking. Maybe my mom will help with the ticket, gas and parking expense. If not she'll give me money for merch. I'm totes not going to first period tomorrow, soooo rebellious.
College kids: I HAVE TO GO TO THIS ONE. Even though I said that to all the others... I do. So since I'm on my own and car-less as a freshmen I'll need to pay for my ticket, public transportation expense, merch, and food. Let's pray that 1. I don't get felt up on the train/subway and 2. I don't have an early class the next day. Even if I do, oh well I can just e-mail my teacher. Being an adult rules! Even if this means I'll have to cut down on the coffee expense for the next few weeks *cringes*.



I hope you all either found this entertaining or relatable in some way. Either way college is the best times of our lives to grow. So spend all that money on the Fall Out Boy ticket, they make break up again. That's worth losing a bagel trip or two, right?



IMAGE CREDIT: