Thursday, October 20, 2016

Shop for a Cause with Stella & Dot

Earlier this month I hosted a small event, partnered with Stella & Dot Jewelry with stylist, Valerie Garrison at the most amazing chocolatier that recently opened in San Antonio, Chocollazo. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we displayed the latest Fall/Winter Collection including the beautiful and delicate Rose Gold pieces from the Wishing Collection to benefit Bright Pink. All purchases of those pieces would have net proceeds sent to this wonderful organization is the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. The ladies of the San Antonio Fashion Society were present, along with other lovely guests were also in attendance. It was a fabulous turnout, especially since Mary Collazo, of Chocollazo prepared delicious treats for us! We had chocolate covered strawberries infused with Rosé and the glasses of Rosé were flowing. The jewelry was all just so beautiful! If you didn't get a chance to attend, don't fear! You can still shop from my Trunk Show until October 27th, 2016! Don't miss out on tthe gorgeous Fall/Winter Collection! Shop the latest collection here: Stella & Dot.

Al principio de mes, fui anfitriona de un pequeño evento en conjunto con Stella & Dot Jewelry con la estilista Valerie Garrison en la increíble chocolatería que abrió recentemente en San Antonio, Chocollazo. En honor al mes del Cáncer del Seno, mostramos la colección de joyería de la temporada de otoño/invierno junto a las hermosas y delicadas piezas en tono de oro rosado que benefician a la organización de Bright Pink. La venta de esas piezas de la línea Wishing otorga 100% a esta excelente organización, la cual es la única sin fines de lucro que se enfoca en la prevención y detección temprana de cáncer del seno y de ovarios en mujeres jóvenes. Las chicas del San Antonio Fashion Society hicieron presente aparte de fabulosas invitadas que disfrutaron de deliciosos entremeses hechos por Mary Collazo, de Chocollazo. Tentamos al paladar con fresas cubiertas de chocolate, rellenas de vino Rosé entre copas de Rosé, a su vez. La joyería provista por Stella & Dot estaba preciosa! Si no tuviste la oportunidad de asistir al evento, no te preocupes! Aún puedes comprar de mi presentación hasta el 27 de octubre de 2016!  No te pierdas esta oferta, compra tu joyería y aporta a una buena causa! La collección de Wishing y de otoño/invierno está disponible a través de:  Stella & Dot
Lovely ladies of the SA Fashion Society. (Left to right: Ward Riaz, Me, Marisa Guerra of Chic in the Heart of Texas)
 *Photography by Mike Thompson*

*Edit: The $25 off $100 sale has ended*

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rooftop Vibes

I'm loving the rooftop locations popping up in San Antonio! Paramour Rooftop Bar opened in 2015 and has been THE hotspot in town. They recently added a coffee bar menu and people are flocking to get their lattes with a view of the city. We recently had the San Antonio Fashion Awards and the official afterparty was held at Paramour and it was the chicest party in SA, but more on that later. Still having very warm weather, so we can still wear off the shoulder looks without feeling any chills. These chunky shoes from JustFab are the real winners, though. I've been wearing these with everything! I'm obsessed!

Me encanta el hecho de que locales con azotea están apareciendo por todo San Antonio! Paramour Rooftop Bar abrió en el 2015 y ha sido muy popular en la ciudad. Recientemente añadieron un menú de café, así que ya pueden disfrutar de su café con una hermosa vista de la ciudad. Recientemente tuvimos los San Antonio Fashion Awards y el lugar oficial de la pos-fiesta fue Paramour. Fue la fiesta más chic en SA, pero comparto más sobre eso más adelante. Aún estamos teniendo un clima muy cálido, así que podemos usar looks con los hombros expuestos sin morirse de frío. Estos zapatos estilo "chinky" son los reales ganadores de esté outfit. Me los he estado poniendo con todo, recientemente! Estoy obsesionada!

Photos by Ciara Johnson (Hey Ciara)

What I wore / Llevaba puesto:
Dress: SheIn
Belt: (It's actually a choker from Snazzy Jewels)
Shoes: Marlea from JustFab

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Finding My Place: Growing up as a Hispanic-American

*Getting a little personal on this post as part of the #HispanicHeritageMonth*
I was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Dominican family. My parents emigrated to the U.S. in the early 70's and spent their teenage years and young adulthood living in New York. Although NYC is known as the global melting pot, my parents did tell me stories about High School cliques being racially driven. They told me about the racial slurs thrown at Hispanics, just because. I thought it was pretty hilarious that they called Dominican immigrants "Plátanos", which translates as Plantains, or Green Banana. I thought to myself "How is that an insult? They are so delicious!" 

Regardless, I was a New Yorker, and proud! Every Summer we would visit the Dominican Republic and my cousins and I were the American kids when we went down to the clubhouse pool. I was ok with that, because most of the time, other kids thought we were interesting and wanted to hang out with us. When I was 9, we moved to Puerto Rico for a family business opportunity offered to my father. I remember being so sad because I was leaving everything I knew in the city, my family, friends, ice skating in Central Park, visits to the World Trade Center, the Pearl Chinese Restaurant we went to on special occasions. I'd miss everything! Most of all, I'd miss diversity. In Puerto Rico, I was the odd one out. I was the immigrant. I was the outsider. They called me "La Gringa". I was placed in a private school, but the entire curriculum was in Spanish, except for the English class, and some language courses as electives. I knew very little Spanish and this was going to be hard. I had to take intensive Spanish after school, apply myself and since all the kids only spoke Spanish I had no choice  but to fully submerge, strong "Gringa" accent and all. Then came the kicker. I'm of Dominican descent. I learned the hard way, that in the early 90's in Puerto Rico, this was not a good thing. Kids would ask me "Where are you from?" and my natural New Yorker response would be "I'm Dominican". This response lead to many "Oh, well, you don't look Dominican?" Of course this hurt my feelings! Just like Puertoricans, Dominicans come in a variety of shades, but as Puerto Rico received so many illegal immigrants many shades darker than me, they weren't used to me and my "kind" was not accepted.
Flying over the city if San Juan, PR

My sister, brothers and mother.

I lived in Puerto Rico for over 20 years, fighting to defend my heritage as an American living on a culturally charged latin island. Even though the island is a U.S. Commonwealth, and the people are U.S. Citizens, I always felt like I wasn't fully welcome. "La Gringa" was how I was referred to on a constant basis, even though I managed to learn perfect Spanish, orally and written, even better than some folks I knew. College was a different experience. I embraced my Dominican culture even more, but I saw it as a badge of honor. My peers were so much more accepting and I started to feel more Caribbean than just Dominican. I lived on this amazing tropical paradise and I was set to fully enjoy my life there. Reveling in the beautiful beaches, rainforests and incredible food, that's when I felt the most at home. 

After finally truly embracing my Caribbean life, my career took a strange turn and the island was in the midst of an economic crisis (it's even worse now), and my company offered me to relocate to a new location on the mainland. This would be the toughest decision I'd ever had to make. I was engaged to be married, had purchased a home and was extremely happy. If I didn't take the relocation offer, I was to lose my job and had to jump into the pool along with the tens of thousands of other young professionals trying to get a job. So, after much deliberation, my then fiancé and I made the jump. Now we're the outsiders together. This transition was tougher for him, since he had never lived in the states. He speaks english, with a heavy Spanish accent and this is a source of anxiety for many Puertoricans. I could definitely relate. I helped him by only speaking english to him for months, kindly correcting his grammar and phrasing, and going over mock interviews. This helped him tremendously to land a job where he would use his bilingual skills. Today he has a dream job, and I couldn't be prouder!
Life in San Antonio, TX

My experience is a bit different from most Hispanic-American people I know. Most immigration stories are the other way around. Not all, one of my best friends in the world shares my exact same story. From New York, to Puerto Rico and back to the States. People have asked me how it felt going backwards. What a strange statement! I understand that you mostly see people leaving a non-US country and never looking back, in order to improve their lives or whatever the case may be. My father actually helped improve our lives when we LEFT New York, in my eyes. When we left, crime was at an all time high, and we had an amazing opportunity on the island, leading us to a beautiful upbringing full of values, culture and beautiful natural surroundings. It was the farthest thing from backwards. We had a truly wonderful experience. Circumstances have oddly brought me back, I'm still an odd woman out, but now I fully embrace the diversity I bring wherever I go. I will always belong.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fitness Friday: My First Cycling Class

 Happy Friday! In an effort to get back to my fit self, I've jumped at every opportunity to workout outside of my regular routines. They say this causes muscle confusion and that's when you really see the change. I was so happy when fellow blogger Christina Coker of Champagne Taste, Beer Budget invited us to a cycling class at newly opened CycleBar at Stone Oak. I've been dying to do this but kind of terrified because my very first cycling class ever was in Puerto Rico with my best friend Kathy (with a Groupon), I almost fell off the bike and totally lost my lunch after the class. It was intense! So, I decided to give it another try, after 5 years from the traumatic experience, and I have to say, it wasn't bad! I threw myself into it and actually even made 9 out of 36! They monitor your progress after you sign in and they even send you an email with your scores for the day. I was very proud of myself! They have pay as you go and package options that are pretty affordable. Plus the instructor, Brittany was the BOMB! She's so motivating and uplifting, just full of life! I loved her! I will definitely be coming back!

Feliz Viernes! Continúo con mis esfuerzos de regresar a estar en forma, así que me he aprovechado de cada oportunidad de hacer ejercicios fuera de mi rutina regular. Dicen que esto cause confusion muscular y ahí es que verdaderamente se vé el cambio. Me alegré cuando mi amiga bloguera, Christina Coker de Champagne Taste, Beer Budget nos invitó a una clase de cycling en el nuevo CycleBar que abrieron en Stone Oak. He estado por tratar esta clase de nuevo, pero con algo de miedo porque la primera vez que lo hice fue en Puerto Rico con mi mejor amiga, Kathy, (con un Groupon) y casi me caigo de la bici Y perdí mi almuerzo después dela clase. Fue súper intenso! Bueno, pues decidí intentarlo de nuevo, a pesar de la experiencia traumática, y debo admitir que no estuvo tan mal! De hecho, me esforcé y logré hacer el 9no lugar de 36! Ellos monitorean tu progreso al anotarse en recepción y te envían tus estadísticas por email luego de la clase. Estoy muy orgullosa de mi! Ellos tienen opciones de pago por clase o paquetes que son  a buen precio. La instructora también fue la mejor! Brittany si que sabe motivar con su alto nivel de energía y actitud positiva. Me encantó! Definitivamente que regreso!

Thanks to Christina Coker of Champagne Taste, Beer Budget
and CycleBar SA for hosting the event

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hola Cancún

I can't believe that Summer is over, although I'm ready to embrace the change of weather. I can't deny I'm a coastal girl, so any opportunity to visit the beach, I'll take it! In June, we kicked off our Summer season by attending one of our best friends' wedding. They got married in Cancún and it was  too much fun! It was my first time traveling to Mexico, so I was really excited! We had quite the experience. We were supposed to stay at the same resort as the wedding party, but there was construction going on in the main building and they had to move several guests. I wasn't too happy about it, but we managed to negotiate with the hotel manager, and they placed us at at a sister hotel, the Live Aqua, Adults All-Inclusive Resort. They also comped a full body massage and a half day at the spa. We did need to take a cab to and from in order to spend time with the bride, friends & family and attend the wedding, but they ensured we had all access pass to both resorts. Our hotel was lovely, with a spa like ambience throughout, beautiful pools and amazing restaurants. We actually preferred the food there. It was a 5-star experience!

No puedo creer que ya se haya acabado el verano, aunque si le doy la bienvenida al cambio de clima. No puedo negar que soy una chica costera, así que cualquier oportunidad que tengo de ir a la playa, la aprovecho. En junio, comenzamos nuestra temporada de verano con un viaje a Cancún, MX para la boda de nuestra gran amiga. Era mi primera vez viajando a México así que estaba bien emocionada! Tuvimos una experiencia interesante. Nosotros hicimos las reservaciones para quedarnos en el mismo hotel que los novios y familia, pero había construcción en el hotel y tuvieron que mover a varios huéspedes. Yo estaba muy descontenta, pero logramos negociar con el gerente del hotel y nos movieron a un resort de la misma compañía, el Live Aqua, Adults All-Inclusive Resort. También me regalaron un masaje y una experiencia en el spa. Aunque tuvimos que tomar un taxi entre ambos hoteles para compartir con la familia, los novios y asistir a la boda, ellos se aseguraron de que tuviéramos acceso ilimitado en ambos hoteles. El Live Aqua estuvo muy bello, con un ambiente de spa, hermosas piscinas y restaurantes increíbles. De hecho, nos gustó más la comida de ahí. Fue una experiencia de 5 estrellas!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Fitness Friday: Girl's Night Out with New Balance

Welcome to my new segment Food & Fitness Fridays! It's long overdo, since I love to promote a healthy lifestyle in my social media posts. So, in this segment, which I'm planning on doing twice a month, I'll be posting about my workout routines and healthy food recipes while I'm going through my own fitness journey. I am not a nutrition or fitness expert, but I'll be more than happy to share what works for me and my experience as I go through it. I've always had an athletic build; I've maintained an active lifestyle and have eaten healthy. Well, most of the time. As  my travel for work increased, so did my waistline. I have no excuse, really, just lack of exercise and poor eating at odd hours. While I travel, I try to eat as healthy as possible, though on occasion that isn't always an option. I usually live in a hotel from one week to several months at a time (coming home on the weekends), and I eat at restaurants almost every night. I try to work out every day, but sometimes my work schedule is odd and I'm tired or I just don't program myself to get the workout in. When I noticed I gained 20 lbs in the last 2 years, I decided to be stricter with my exercise routine and eliminating sugar among other things, which I'll get into for the next segment. In this post, I want to focus on exercise. So let's get to it!

Bienvenido@s a mi nuevo segmento llamado Food & Fitness Fridays! Ya era hora de lanzar este segmento ya que promuevo prácticas saludables constante en los medios sociales. Así que en este segmento, el cual me gustaría hacer bi-mensual, le presentaré mi rutina de ejercicios y recetas de comida saludable mientras me encuentro en mi propio proceso de volver a ponerme en forma. No soy una experta en nutrición ni ejercicios, pero con gusto les comparto lo que funciona para mi y mi experiencia en este proceso. Mi tipo de cuerpo siempre ha sido atlético; siempre me he mantenido activa y comiendo bastante saludable, la mayoría de las veces. Al momento que aumentó la cantidad de viajes por trabajando también así se vio el tamaño de mi cintura. Realmente no tengo excusa, nada más ha sido falta de consistencia de comer bien y hacer ejercicios. Mientras viajo, admito que se hace más difícil, porque se come en restaurantes todos los días y a veces salgo muy tarde del trabajo y estoy muy cansada o no me programo bien para una rutina diaria. Cuando me vi que aumenté 20 lbs, decidí ser más estricta con mis ejercicios y a eliminar el azúcar entre otras cosas, que le hablaré en el próximo segmento. En este artículo, me quiero enfocar en ejercicios. Así que vamos allá!
Photo via Style Lush TV
Last night I attended an event at the New Balance store in San Antonio, hosted by fellow blogger, Adriana of the blog Toasty A. We had a great time! We had the chance to work out with a trainer,  Amanda, where we ran a quarter mile, then did 2 sets of squats and lunges, then ran back to the store to stretch and cool down. She taught us about the importance of good form to avoid injury and get maximum results. After the workout, we received fantastic information on nutrition and training in general from guest speakers, including Olympic Track coach, Rose who just returned from Río for the 2016 Olympic Games. How exciting!  So, I'll share some of the tips on form that we learned during the session. 

Anoche, estuve en un evento en la tienda de New Balance con nuestra anfitriona, Adriana del Blog Toasty A. Tuvimos un rato divertido. Tuvimos la oportunidad de entrenar con una instructora excelente, Amanda, con quien corrimos un quarto de milla, hicimos 2 sets de sentadillas y estocadas (lunges). Luego corrimos de vuelta a la tienda para enfriar. Ella nos enseñó la importancia de hacer la forma correcta para evitar heridas y obtener resultados óptimos. Luego de los ejercicios, recibimos tremenda orientación sobre nutrición y entrenamientos de invitadas especiales, entre ellas una entrenadora Olímpica, Rose, quien acaba de regresar de tu tiempo en Río para los Juegos Olímpicos 2016. Que emocionante fue! Aquí les comparto algunos de los consejos que recibimos durante el evento. 


The form in the squat should be chest up, knees over the ankle, butt parallel to the floor. Upon rising, you squeeze the glutes and push the pelvis forward. It's not pretty, but it's effective. Like Amanda said "If you don't squeeze your butt, no one will!" She's hilarious!

La forma correcta en las sentadillas es de pecho levantado, rodillas sobre los tobillos y el trasero paralelo al piso. Al subir, aprietas los glúteos y las caderas se empujan hacia el frente. No se ve bonito, pero es efectivo. Como dijo Amanda, "Si no aprietas el trasero, nadie más lo va a hacer!" Qué jocosa!

Bicep Curls

We didn't get a chance to do arms yesterday, but in our swag bag last night, we got a set of bands, which is perfect for me because I can't always stay in a hotel with a gym, so I can travel with this and get a workout in my room. You can do a variety of exercises with the bands, starting with basic bicep curls. Starting with your arms at a 90 degree level, you curl all the way up to your shoulders, while keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible and repeat the move 10-12 times, in 3 sets with a 30 second break in between. I have so many more moves, but I'll show you all later, maybe in a video!

No tuvimos la oportunidad de trabajar los brazos ayer, pero nos regalaron unas bandas en nuestro bolso de regalo, lo cual me parece perfecto porque no siempre tengo acceso a gimnasio cuando viajo y me las puedo llevar para hacer ejercicio en mi habitación. Se puede hacer una variedad de ejercicios con las bandas, comenzando por el "bicep curl". Posicionando los brazos en forma de 90 grados, luego levantas las bandas hacia los hombros, manteniendo los codos apretados y cerca del cuerpo. Repites este movimiento 10-12 veces, en 3 sets con un descanso de 30 segundos entre sets. Tengo muchos más movimientos para compartir, pero lo dejo para luego, tal vez en un video!

I've already lost 5 lbs towards my goal weight, but more than the weight it's about health and getting back to my fit self. Everyone has goals when it comes to their body, and we are all different and beautiful no matter what. Keeping a healthy and active life will help with so many aspects of your life, making this effort totally worth it. Like I mentioned earlier, I am by no means an expert in health or fitness. I just do a lot of research and ask the experts a ton of questions. Stay tuned, because I definitely want to bring in some experts to give us more in depth information on what we need to stay healthy. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Ya he rebajado 5 las hacia mi meta, pero más que bajar de peso esto se trata sobre mi salud general y estar en forma. Todo el mundo tiene metas diferentes con nuestros cuerpos y somos bell@s no importa qué. Mantener un estilo de vida saludable tiene tantos beneficios a largo plazo, haciendo que el esfuerzo valga la pena. Como mencioné anteriormente, no soy experta en salud ni ejercicios, pero sí leo mucho sobre el tema y consulto con expertos. De hecho, estén pendientes porque pienso tener invitados expertos en este tema para orientarnos y contestar nuestras preguntas sobre los que tenemos que hacer para mantenernos saludables. Gracias por darse la vuelta por mi blog!

The Girl's Night Out event is hosted by New Balance worldwide and focuses on getting women to work out with good friends while learning about health and fitness. It was such a fun event!

El evento de Girl's Night Out de New Balance es a nivel mundial, y promueve que se unan las chicas para hacer ejercicios y aprender acerca de salud en general. Fue super divertido!

Thanks to New Balance - San Antonio for an awesome event and swag!

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own*

*Este artículo no es auspiciado. Todas las opiniones son mías*