Travel Tips

I’ve just returned from a Business Trip, so I found it fitting to write a post about my packing skills. My job has me traveling all around the US and sometimes internationally. In the past 6 years I’ve learned a few packing tricks that reduced my travel anxiety and has even saved me (and the company) money. My co-worker saw my small carry-on bag and couldn’t believe I could fit a week’s worth of stuff into such a small bag, so I thought I should share my tips.

The first thing I do is that I plan my outfits ahead of time. I lay it all out with the accessories, shoes and handbags to match. Something I do to reduce the amount of items I pack, is match 2 blouses to one bottom. For example I can use the same slacks/skirt twice and have it look completely different with another blouse and accessories. Now I know this may seem obvious, but a lot of people just throw in all the clothes from their closet and that’s just over packing. Planning ahead is the key to successful packing and can even save you tons of money if the airline charges for checked bags.

Always place your shoes at the bottom of your luggage and place your clothing items in a nicely rolled bundle. I packed 3 pairs of shoes and a pair of sneakers perfectly in this bag. I even managed to pack some thin sandals in the front pocket. If you have SpaceBags you’ll be amazed at how much you can pack into those things. Speaking of which, I need to get new ones, mine got lost in the move. All my toiletries were in TSA approved bottles in my handbag.
Using a large handbag for travels is incredibly useful. This one from JustFab, which has a long shoulder strap aside from the shorter handles, fits my laptop and other electronic devices, my makeup and jewelry bags, and my immediate necessities. Coordinate outfits around this bag so you can get maximized usage from it. 

And of course, don’t forget to dress comfortable. Cotton is a great choice for those long travel days with layovers. No need to wear sweatpants and look like you just rolled out of bed. You can spruce it up a little and still be very comfy.

Slip on shoes are perfect for going through airport Security checks without hassles. 

 The neck pillow is essential. Planes aren’t exactly the most comfortable, even if you’re flying First Class, you should definitely have one on hand.

Last, but not least, checking in online is a great convenience that saves time and avoids those long lines that sometimes cut it kinda close at the airport. I downloaded the apps for my most frequently used airlines directly into my smartphone. I love it, because I can check in easily and have my digital boarding pass, they also send me notifications and flight updates. Don’t forget to download games, music, magazines and a good book. I experienced insane delays yesterday (over 6 hours between 2 delays for 2 separate flights) due to the weather, that I could have never endured if it weren’t for all my apps on my Ipad, and a good drink at the airport bar.

Safe travels!


BB Beautiful

Maybe I’m a little behind, but I just discovered BB Creams. I had decided not to fall into the hype, and boy was I wrong. This product is amazing! Beauty Balm is all in one. My skin is very sensitive and prone to dryness at any time of the year, with oily spots in the T-zone, very annoying. I have to use non-oily moisturizer, my favorite is Neutrogena Oil-free Moisture SPF15 for Combination Skin during the day and Andes Beauty Antioxidant Cabernet Cream for firm face and neck before going to bed. All this moisturizing, yet whenever I use makeup, I get these horrible dry patches around my frown lines, chin and right between the brows. I have to reapply moisturizer all day and I’ve gone through all sorts of powders from loose to cream to mineral. BB cream has changed my life!  After washing my face, I tried the Avon BB Cream for the first time yesterday. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My pores disappeared, as did an acne scar on my chin. There were no signs of those pesty dry patches and I didn’t need any extra moisturizer all day. It has SPF 15 and the color matched my skin tone perfectly. I don’t think I’ll ever go back now, this cream is perfect!! Here are some great options for beautiful protected skin all year round.

1. Smashbox Camera Ready $39 available at Nordstrom
2. Garnier Skin Renew BB with SPF 20 $11.99 available at Target
3. Olay Fresh Effect BB Cream SPF 15 Walmart
4. L’oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator SPF 15 $16.99 from CVS
5. Avon Ideal Flawless SPF 15 $10 here or with your local Avon Rep
6. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 $37 at Neiman Marcus
7. For sensitive skin, Dr. Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 $34 available at Sephora

White dreams

So, my current obsession of the week has been to find a perfect LWD, the little white dress. To be completely honest, I don’t even have a special occasion, but I can build an occasion around it. See how that works? Haha! My main focus has been to find something casual, like a sundress that I can just wear to go on a lunch date with my hunny and enjoy a patio refreshment or two in the summer sun. I visited my fave vintage shop yesterday and tried on 2 dresses that looked great on the rack, but I just wasn’t convinced. Note to self: Never try on clothes during that time of the month. Bloated and emotional are not a good mix in the Dressing Rooms.
 The hunt is on!

Top row: Bell Crochet Dress from Pixie Market – Eyelet Sheer Lace dress from Mikkat Market
Bottom row: Pique Trim Sundress and Crochet Village Swing dress from Asos
Right side: Kiss Me Dress and Vice Dress from Nasty Gal here and here
Left side: She’s a Knockout off the shoulder dress and Show the way cut-out dress from Lulu’s here and here


I know I said I wasn’t into theme dressing, but this t-shirt I found at Ross was too cool to pass up. So I took to my closet, found the worst ripped jeans I had and cut them short. It was no easy feat since they were so ripped, they’re literally hanging by a thread! let’s see how long they last before they completely rip. Paired with my favorite blazer and booties, I was ready to go to my 4th of July festivities. Hope you had a good one! I’m still recovering…

T-shirt: Pinc from Ross Similar here
Cutoff Shorts: DIY Forever 21 jeans
Platform Booties: Forever 21 similar here
Blazer: Zara
Bag: Coach
Skulls and Studs bracelet: Bansri via Hautelook
Cuff: I purchased at a small boutique in PR. Similar here

Overall, I like it

I remember telling my mother that I wanted her to throw away my overalls when I was in Kindergarten because I didn’t want to look like a farmer. During my female rapper style phase in Junior High School, I found myself sporting oversized denim overalls with a crop top and high-top Nike’s. My fashion sense has since evolved, thankfully and I found that you can wear overalls and still look great. 

Vegan Leather Overalls from nasty Gal available here
Denim Short Overalls available at Necessary Clothing here
Overall style dress from Need Supply here

Slouchy Overalls from Asos here

Vegan Leather long Overalls at Nasty Gal here

Caribbean Cuisine

I really like to cook. I’ve been doing it since I was 11 years old, when my mother taught me how to make the perfect rice and beans, with a recipe passed down from her mother. I embrace my Dominican roots but I love to add a modern touch and infuse global flavors in traditional recipes. I am by no means a professional, but I’m definitely an avid Food Network and health food enthusiast. Many of my friends have been asking me to post some of my recipes, so I decided to start now. Like I said, I’m no expert, but I do love to eat, good, healthy, home-cooked meals. So, here goes!
The plate above is Arroz con Gandules (Rice and Pigeon Peas) with grilled Skirt Steak. This is my fiance’s absolute favorite Puerto Rican comfort food. I added my own style to it, of course. 
Grilled Skirt Steak Marinade:
1. Garlic. 3 mashed cloves 
2. 1/3 cup of Soy Sauce
3. 3 tablespooons of mustard

Arroz con Gandules: (serves 2)
1.1/4 Yellow Onion
2. 2 cloves of Garlic
3. 1/2 Red Bell Pepper (julienned)
4. 1/2 Chicken Buillion
5. 1 packet Sazón Goya with Saffron
4. 2 cups water
5. 2 tblspn Coconut Oil
6. 1 can Pigeon Peas
7. 1 cup Brown rice
Sauté vegetables with the Buillion and Saffron Seasoning in the Coconut oil until onions are transparent. Add the Pigeon Peas and water, bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add rice and stir. Let the water completely evaporate and stir. Bring the heat to a medium-low and cover the pot. Cooks in 25 minutes.