Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Reflections


A lot of things happened this year. I finished a manuscript, I turned 30, I experienced four different weather seasons, and pick up a new hobby (the violin). 

Most importantly I've learned a lot about myself this year. 
I learned lessons that have impacted me and will help me positively progress in life. 

But out of everything I learned this year, there are two things I learned 
which have forever changed me. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Parents Helped Me Realize My American Dream


The United States, it’s the place where you can live the American Dream. But what that dream actually consists of is different for everyone. For people that live in other countries the dream represents opportunity, and having said opportunity is exactly why my Parents decided to move here.
They were born and raised in Panamá and came to the U.S. in their early twenties to start a new life. For my Parents, leaving Panamá meant no longer living under a dictatorship (which later took a turn for the worst when Manuel Noriega was in power). It meant starting over, having better jobs, and creating a better life for their future children.
When my Parents moved here they came with a strong determination to make it. While growing up in Panamá they were taught a standard formula of how to be successful in life. That formula consisted of going to school, getting a job with benefits, staying loyal to that job, and then retiring. My Parents followed that formula when they moved to the U.S. and it worked for them. My Mother worked at a bank for over 20 years. My Father retired from not one but two jobs, working at each for over 15 years.
Read More: Here

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Fish Out of Agua"

                                                                                             

  I had the pleasure of meeting Michele Carlo in October at a writer's conference
where she moderated one of the workshops I attended. It was then 
that I purchased her book Fish Out of Agua

"Will the family who brought the little redheaded white girl to the Puerto Rican 
Day parade please come to the bandstand to pick her up." 

With her fair skin, freckles, and red hair Michele tells the tale of constantly
feeling like she didn't fit in with her family.

Monday, December 16, 2013

How To Interact With The Introverted


Yes, I'm an introvert and this sums up how to deal with me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Material Girl: Bella Doña



I came across the Bella Doña website via their Instagram page. 
I love the concepts of all the shirts.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

10 Words & Phrases That Need to Stay in 2013



Around this time of year some of us take a minute to write our goals for the new year and come up things that we plan to leave behind in order to make a fresh start.

Well, in addition to whatever you personally plan to leave in 2013, you should add these 10 words/phrases to your list too...


Monday, December 2, 2013

Feeling Out of Place Within My Own Family

There I was surrounded by screaming kids running in and out of the house, chasing each other. “Stop running in the house. You’re going to break something,” someone yelled. There were kids everywhere. To the left of me was a mother wiping her son’s nose. Directly in front of me was a mother changing her newborn’s diaper. And to the right of me was my nephew. His little 2-year-old self was stretching his arm with his entire might to reach for a cupcake on the counter.
As I sat at a table watching Moms and Dads interact with each other and their kids, I asked myself, “Why am I here? None of these kids are mine.” I was at my 5-year-old cousin Daniel’s birthday party. And even though I was surrounded by family, I felt completely alone and out-of-place. I was the only person at the party without a husband or child. It was like I was an outsider within my own family.
The majority of my cousins are all married and have kids, and I couldn’t help but think I had missed the boat. With each child’s birthday party I attended, I noticed this lonely feeling was becoming all too frequent. In order to protect my feelings, I promised myself I would no longer attend any children’s parties. It seemed pointless for me to be there without a child of my own.
Read more: Here

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Phone Calls vs Texting


The modern man has evolved but when it comes to communication, they are still back in the cave man era. Guys do not like to talk on the phone. These days, it’s all about texting. Yes texting is fast and convenient, but in a relationship – especially in NYC where “out-of-sight equals out-of-mind”-  phone calls are essential.
A phone conversation is important to women because we want to hear vocal tones, laughs, passion, and intensity and that only comes across via a phone conversation. Texting is one dimensional. A phone call allows us to feel more connected to that guy on the other end of the call. And if the conversation is good, it can be a memorable experience for both sides, a foundation needed for a solid relationship.
I am definitely not the only woman thinking this. I’ve had lots of conversations with girlfriends. Guys not picking up the phone is a constant point of frustration for us. Other women have even taken this gripe to Twitter. One Tweeter went so far as to say men text because they are incapable of having a mature phone conversation. I wouldn’t go that far but it’s possible.
Too much texting can lead to communication problems in a relationship. There is no emotion in a text message. A lot of what is texted is left up to the reader’s interpretation. And if they are not reading the message the way it was intended by the sender, that can cause confusion. It can also lead to unnecessary arguments. So it’s important for Guys to realize that certain topics need to be talked about over the phone.
Read more: Here

Thursday, November 21, 2013

200 Words With Alaya Johnson


Alaya Dawn Johnson is a New York City-based author who enjoys writing speculative fiction. She has seven published novels that range from science fiction and fantasy to horror. In addition to writing novels, Johnson published and re-published approximately fifteen short stories in various magazines and anthologies. She has also written a few articles, but chooses to stay devoted to her love of fiction writing.
Her desire to write flourished during her teenage years. It was then that she made her first attempt at writing a novel and imagined herself becoming a famous teen phenomenon. However, Johnson never completed this novel or any others until she was in college. While attending Columbia University, Johnson got into fan fiction writing, which led to her complete her first two novels.

Read more: Here

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dubwork: "Still Dreaming" Listening Event

Last Tuesday night I ventured to Harlem (which I rarely ever do) to attend Dubwork's "Still Dreaming" mixtape listening event. I first became familiar with Dubwork's music earlier year when I heard, loved, and blogged about his single "Pinot Grigio." With that single being one of my favorite songs for months, I was more than happy to attend his listening event. 

I arrived at Stadium Red Studios around 8pm and watched Dubwork's team eagerly set up the room. From festive finger foods, free dranks, to a step and repeat; I quickly learned Dubwork has a solid group of people around him who are willing to play their part in order to help him succeed. 

His team plastered the studio and adjoining room walls with images of Dubwork's side profile and attention stealing beard. Everything was well put together, and that set the tone for how the night would go.





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Kevin Carter & His Award Winning Photo


Born in 1960, Kevin Carter was an award winning South African photojournalist. He began his career photographing scenes of the violent struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. However, it was a 1993 picture of a famine victim in Sudan that would change his life forever.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Chance The Rapper



I normally don't blog about the Hip Hop concerts I attend because there isn't much to tell. 
The show usually consists of the rapper and a hype man walking around the stage while shaking fans hands and rapping their lyrics.

But on Wednesday night Change The Rapper put on big stage show, in a small venue; 
which warrants a blog post. 

For a rapper that is just starting out I could tell he put a lot of work into the delivery of his 
Social Experiment Tour. Performing with special lighting effects and a band; 
on a scale of 1-10, Chance's energy was at a 20.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm Attached To My Cell Phone




I remember the day I received my first cell phone, it was a Nokia. I was in 11th grade and my parents
got it for me because I just started driving and they wanted me to have it in case of an emergency.

However, I never used it. I was the first in my circle of friends to have one, 
so it just sat turned off in my purse or backpack.

Monday, October 28, 2013

THIS WILL NEVER BE FUNNY!


It seems like every year around this time the issue of Blackface comes up. Why people
think it's funny to paint their faces black for Halloween is beyond my understanding. 
Blackface WILL NEVER BE FUNNY. 

On Saturday night the picture below was all over my Instagram. These people are way out 
of line for not only the Blackface, but for also mocking the death of Trayvon Martin.

Many people tweeted that they were not going to give the photo attention because it was 
exactly why these three people dressed this way in the first place.

Well I'm giving the picture attention because clearly this is something
that needs to be discussed until people understand that they shouldn't do it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Clearly, This Is The New Normal...




Last week Kim K. instagramed a pic of herself in her swimsuit and Nicki Minaj
instagramed a photo of herself topless with pasties on...

This was done in addition to the countless non-celebs females that find it
necessary to post random almost nude photos of themselves online.

A few days ago actress Rashida Jones tweeted the following, and I couldn't agree more:


"This week's celeb news takeaway: she who comes closest to showing the actual inside of her (private parts) is most popular," she wrote. "#stopactinglikewhores."
She went on to say, "There is a whole generation of young women watching," she explained. "Sure, be SEXY but leave something to the imagination."
And Jones, 37, added, "Let me clarify. I don't shame ANYone for anything they choose to do with their lives or bodies…BUT I think we ALL need to take a look at what we are accepting as 'the norm.' " - USA Today

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You Should Be Listening To: Elli Ingram



I was first introduced to Elli Ingram by way of her rendition of Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Willie Lynch Letter: The Making of a Slave


For a long time I wondered why certain issues plagued the black community, where did certain ideas and ways of thinking come from. One day while listening to an interview with rapper J. Cole he mentioned the name Willie Lynch and spoke a little about who he was. And I immediately went to google to do a search...

Willie Lynch was a slave owner who in 1712 gave a speech in Virgina on how to control slaves. In which, Willie tells other slave owners that they must set their slaves against each other in order to control them. His logic was that by setting the slaves against each other they would not come together to try to over power their masters.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Material Girl: illprepared Boutique


This week I am taking the time to showcase/promote my friends and the awesome things they do.
"When I get the spotlight, I shine it on my team."


Vintage Clothing lovers this post is for you!

"Unique vintage designs that reflect the nostalgia of the times gone by... illprepared captures the elusive contrast between the aesthetic value and experience of vintage shopping... Where we judge things as being beautiful by reasoning of principles... Judgement of taste... Beauty being pushed to new extremes..."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hair Issues



Hair texture is an issue that seems like it will not be leaving anytime soon. As more women decide to go natural vs getting a perm, the issue of hair touching comes into play. Women that have natural hairstyles tend to get a lot of attention for it and get asked, "Can I touch your hair?"


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Be Healthy: Carrots


Carrots are a good sources of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin K, biotin, fiber, potassium and thiamine. Here are 7 health benefits of carrots for human body:
  1. Prevent Cancer
    Many studies shown that eating carrots may help lower the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. Recently, researchers have isolated a compound called falcarinol in carrots that may be largely responsible for anti-cancer benefits. Falcarinol is a natural pesticide found in carrots that protects roots from fungal diseases. In daily diet, carrots are almost the only source of these compounds. A study conducted on mice found that they were fed with either raw carrots or falcarinol have one-third lower risk of developing colon cancer than mice not fed by them.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Testimony That Started With A Dream



(Continuing from last week's post) Dreams are important for so many reasons. Having spent years not knowing what career path to take in life, I know the importance of figuring out your passion and following your dreams. Doing what you were created to do brings about a sense of fulfillment that nothing else can replace.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dreams...


"Follow your dreams because it will lead you to greatness'.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams,
live the life you have imagined.

Dream deep!
Every great dream begins with a dreamer.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Latino or Hispanic




Am I Latino or am I Hispanic? All my life I have grown up with the term Latino. And as I grew older I understood the term Hispanic was only used when referring to Mexican people. Because of that, I never really thought about the difference between the two terms until last week when I received an email about National Latino Heritage Month.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A 9/11 Miracle

I was fresh out of high school, still living with my parents on 9/11/01. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. And for some reason the events that took place that day hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it's the fact that this was my Pearl Harbor, or it could be the fact that I watched live on TV as the second plane hit one of the towers... 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Material Girl: Clear Clutch Bag


My new favorite thing, clear clutch bags. I especially like the square ones, as
pictured above. Below are a few other styles that I also like.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Living In Fear



A Confident Woman Refuses To Live In Fear
by Joyce Meyer

I think you will agree that refusing to be led by our feelings can be a challenge, especially when it comes to fear. But we must remember that fear is not from God. It is the devil’s tool to keep us from enjoying our lives and moving forward with what God has for us. When we attempt to walk in faith, Satan immediately tries to hinder us through many things, including fear. Fear of failure, judgment or criticism will cause us to bury our talents. It will make us draw back and live in misery and torment. Unless we make a firm decision to “fear not,” we will never be free from its power.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be Healthy: Apple Cider Vinegar


Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Hair rinse: Skip harsh shampoos and wash away buildup with an apple cider vinegar rinse. When used as a follow-up to baking soda, this do-it-yourself treatment makes strands shinier, reduces frizz and seals cuticles. It also simulates the scalp to promote hair growth.

Toner: Psoriasis sufferers praise apple cider vinegar for reducing inflammation. Apply a few drops to a cotton ball and rub on your T-zone or other dry spots to prevent breakouts and minimize blemishes. Scarlett Johansson swears by this trick!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mara Hruby, A Sensitive Soul


"An apparition of the dignified mores of another time, Mara’s mantra, learned from the love of her life, her godmother Dezzie Ree Dew, goes:  'It doesn’t matter how many people try and ruffle your feathers or throw dirt in your face, the most important thing is to stay in touch with the genuine soul that you are and remain a kind, spirited person.' 

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Association Brings Assimilation"


When done correctly...
Association by Assimilation can be a positive thing. 
It's something we all should be doing:



Thursday, August 22, 2013

We Have to Do Better




In almost every situation there is one or a few people that ruin something for everyone else. Case and point, the 3 teens in Oklahoma that killed a baseball player for "sport." After we all were so outraged by Trayvon Martin being profiled by George Zimmerman, this situation comes along to basically prove Zimmerman's reasons for thinking Trayvon was up to something. Not that I agree with Zimmerman following and killing Trayvon, but after seeing the way many teenage black boys carry themselves and act, I see why they get stereotyped.


After the Zimmerman verdict was read, I was upset like everyone else. But I tried to look on the bright side. Thinking Trayvon's family could turn this negative situation into a positive. (Kind of like what happened with the creation of the "Amber Alert.")


Monday, August 19, 2013

Texting While Driving

"From One Second to the Next," the rather unlikely film below, came together when AT&T approached the legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog and asked if he would direct a series of short films warning people about the dangers of texting while driving.


Friday, August 16, 2013

A Father-Daughter Dance... In Prison


Last month I saw the new story posted below about a jail hosting a father-daughter dance.
I though it was such a nice thing for the little girls to experience.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"The Butler"


I love movies that depict the lives of actual people. So it's no surprise that I am very excited to
see "The Butler" this weekend. The movie is based on the life of Eugene Allen and chronicles the 34 years he worked as a butler in the White House. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Colors"


"When I play the piano, I see black and white.
And one with out the other the melody  is not right.
The minor will not play, for we were created in all ways.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Garifuna


On Saturday I attended La Casita at Lincoln Center where various artists performed. The performance that stood out to me most was the Garifuna band. Garifuna people are:

"Afro Caribbean people of mixed Amerindian and African descent. They are a resilient people who suffered many historical injustices from the slave trade to exile, and who fiercely resisted 150 years of European imperialism. They are a migratory people who live across the world today. Most of all, the Garinagu are a people with a rich ancestral culture who are fighting to maintain their traditional practices, beliefs, and artistic expressions."


Friday, August 2, 2013

Stop Complaining



One of my biggest annoyances is when a girl complains about her "baby daddy" or her "babies daddies not taking care of their child or children." This is a world I don't know about, other than being on the outside looking in. But as with everything else I have an opinion. At some point you had to have known the kind of guy you were dealing with before you got pregnant (red flags were probably flying high). And the fact that you still chose to not use protect with him, all while know his character, speaks volumes about you.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Be Healthy: Almond Milk



Almond milk contains more nutrients than other dairy milk alternatives like rice milk. The health benefits provided by this option even match dairy choices. Almond milk works as a great alternative for those with soy and lactose allergies.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Material Girl: Overalls


My new favorite thing! Well not really, I've loved overalls since forever. 
I remember having a pair of Dickie overalls (pictured below) when I was in High School.

...I wish I still had them...

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Bird of Paradise"

Raquel Cepeda's memoir is excellently written! I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to all. I especially recommend it to those who often struggle with and wonder about their Latino ancestry.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

He Was Someone's Son



Regardless of who you feel is responsible for Zimmerman being found not guilty...
Regardless of what you feels needs to happen for this to never happen again to any other person...
And regardless of if you feel race played a role in this case or not...

There is one important thing to remember, Trayvon Martin was a person and he had a family.


Friday, July 12, 2013

"You Don't Speak Spanish?"


I came across an article titled "Non-Spanish Fluent Latina's: 'Don't Judge Us'" and could relate to various parts of it. Not that I ever feel like a "fake" Latina because I don't speak Spanish fluently, but I do experience a bit of hesitation when meeting other Latinos. 

I usually wonder what they think when I tell them I'm not fluent.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Be Healthy: Kiwi


The kiwi is a small fruit that packs a wallop of nutrition. Ounce for ounce, it contains more vitamin C than an orange. The national fruit of China, where it has been called a macaque peach, vine pear, or hairy bush fruit, among other names, it was introduced to New Zealand at the turn of the last century. The kiwi was called the Chinese gooseberry before its name was changed to kiwifruit upon its move to the USA in the 1960s. Currently, Italy, New Zealand, Chile, France, Japan and the United States are the world's top producers of kiwis.
Here are six health benefits of kiwis.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Don't Be A Follower, Please!


Last week Jay-Z released his album, Magna Carta Holy Grail (which at this time I still have not listened to) and so I've been told he mentions Basquiat's name a few times. Now if you're a Jay-Z fan then you know he has mentioned Basquiat in his music before this album was released.


Monday, July 1, 2013

1st Annual Afro-Latino Festival


Saturday afternoon I attended the 1st Annual Afro-Latino Festival of NYC (in Brooklyn).
There was a pretty good turn out. And the country of Panama was very well represented. 
At least four of the performers were of Panamanian descent.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kevin Durant



You may have already heard that Kevin Durant signed to Jay-Z's 
Roc Nation Sports agency on Monday. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Will Costa Rican's Look Past Skin Color?



Costa Rica News – The reign of Laura Chinchilla is coming to a close in Costa Rica as we prepare for the 2014 elections for the presidential seat. There are not very many candidates at this point. To be elected president of Costa Rica a candidate needs at least 40 percent of total voters, otherwise a runoff must be held between the top two candidates.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Watch & Observe


We all know that one person who always has to be involved in something and can never
just take a seat somewhere and chill. Their a busy body or their constantly running their mouth. 
And because they never sit still they are usually the main person involved in 
some drama or a problem. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thankful


This time last year I was in California and was a few days away from my last day of working for a company where I held a position for almost six years. (You can read about that experience here).

Today, I'm in a completely different place, emotionally and physically. I have not had a steady 9-5 job since I left my position last year. To some this may be looked at as a bad thing but it has been a good thing for me. Within this last year a lot has changed for the better in my life.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Be Healthy: Cucumbers





10 Benefits of cucumbers:

1.Quick pick me-up - Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins - Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don't forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care - If you don't like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.