Adventures in Mexico City

I’ve been in Mexico City for quite a while now. My husband came to town to visit me and we had a super touristy weekend! We visited the Historic downtown, went to the most visited areas and even discovered a very cool street lined with beautiful murals. The art and culture we experienced in the center were absolutely beautiful. We visited the Palacio Nacional, the beautiful Cathedral, had lunch at the rooftop of the Zócalo Central Hotel, which overlooks the central plaza, and afterwards we checked out the Museum. We visited a few other places, but I’ll save that for my next post!
Ya llevo un tiempo en Cuidad México. Mi esposo vino de visita y tuvimos un super fin de semana de turistas! Visitamos al Centro Histórico, fuimos a las atracciones más visitadas y hasta descubrimos una joya escondida con murales artísticos. El arte y la cultura que vimos fueron absolutamente hermosos! Visitamos al Palacio Nacional, la bella Catedral Metropolitano, almorzamos en el restaurant de Hotel Central del Zócalo, en donde se puede ver todo en centro y luego fuimos al museo. Fuimos a otros lugares en Ciudad de México, pero ya lo dejaré para otro artículo!
Palacio Nacional

Catedral Metropolitana

Hubby posed for me for the first time!

Top by local Mexican artisan. Ring by local jeweler.

Chunky Sweater in Asheville

My recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina left me in love with the town. Recently named one out 15 small towns to visit by Condè Nast, it did not disappoint. Home of the Biltmore Estate, the largest mansion in the U.S., built by American Royalty, the Vanderbilts, the entire town seems to be stuck in a period of time with the beautiful Victorian and Tudor style homes along tree lined streets. I visited the Grand Bohemian Hotel, a breath-taking old world style hotel in the heart of the historic Biltmore Village. It was a bit cold out so I indulged in a delicious apple cider sangria at the Red Stag Grill Bar. The rich wood details and opulent chandeliers make the experience so exquisite! In the downtown area, the city was bustling with people from one restaurant to the next. I tried to get a seat in a small Tapas Bar, but the wait was ONE HOUR for bar seating, it’s that good… So, I moved along to the next and found a beautifully lit, romantic spot (for one) called Rhubarb. I sat on the deck and was delighted by children playing amazing folk and popular music. Crowds would hover over them, amazed at their talent and throwing money into their instrument cases. The food was spectacular! I little on the pricey side, but soo worth every penny. 
Traveling alone has allowed me to learn so much about myself. I truly appreciate the time I spend with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling and discovering with my husband, family and friends, but there is something so special about solo travel. I savor every moment, stay an extra long time in one single location, and appreciate the beauty in the little things.

Mi viaje reciente a Asheville, North Carolina me ha dejado enamorada del pueblo. Nombrado como una de las Mejores 15 pueblos pequeños en EEUU por la revista Condé Nast, no me decepcionó en lo mínimo. El Biltmore Estate se encuentra en el corazón del pueblo y fue construida por una de las familias más ricas en EEUU, los Vanderbilt. El pueblo entero parece estar detenido en el tiempo, con las casas Victorianas y estilo Tudor en las calles rodeadas de arboles. Logré visitar el Grand Bohemian Hotel, construida al estilo del Viejo Mundo en el corazón del Biltmore Village. Hacía un poco de frío, así que entré al bar del Red Stag Grill dentro del hotel para una deliciosa sangría de cidra de manzana. Dentro del hotel, los detalles de madera oscura y los candelabros opulentes hacen que la visita sea una experiencia exquisita. En el downtown de Asheville, la gente andaba de lugar en lugar, hay muchos restaurantes y estaba todo super lleno! Traté de conseguir una asiento en un bar de tapas, pero la espera era mas de UNA HORA, para la barra! Así que me di vuelta y caí en un restaurante muy bello llamado Rhubarb. Es un lugar muy romántico, aunque andaba sola, me lo disfruté. Me senté en el patio que daba para la calle, en donde unos niños cantaban música folklórica y popular. La gente los rodeaba disfrutando de su talento mientras les ponían dinero. La comida estaba divina! Un poco caro, pero valió cada centavo!
Viajar sola me ha dado el espacio para aprender mucho sobre mi. Realmente aprecio pasar tiempo sola. No me malinterpreten, me encanta viajar con mi esposo, mis familia y amistades, pero hay algo muy especial en viajar sol@. Me difruto cada momento, tomo tiempo adicional en un solo lugar y disfruto de la belleza de estos lugates.

What I wore/ Llevaba puesto:
Sweater: Michael Kors 
Jeans: Joe’s Jeans
Boots: ShoeDazzle
Bag: Neiman Marcus:
Blanket Scarf: Apricot Lane

Bell Sleeves and Lace

Hi everybody! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had an emotionally draining week with all this election craziness here in the U.S., but I intend to spread as much positivity as possible. Let’s talk about something else, for a change. Let’s talk about bell sleeves! I’m so in love with this trend this season. It may be a throwback to the 70’s, but so much more! This Zelle Boutique top in Dusty Rose has been on rotation in my closet these days. I paired it with a lace skirt, which sold out immediately! 
Hola a tod@s! No sé ustedes, peri yo he tenido una semana muy fuerte con todo esto de las elecciones aquí en Estados Unidos, pero mis intenciones son responder con mucho positivismo. Quiero cambiar el tema. Hablemos de de las mangas de campana! Me encanta este estilo de la temporada! Es como un estilo de los 70’s, pero mucho mejor. Esta blusa de Zelle Boutique está en rotación en mi closet últimamente. Lo combiné con esta falda de encajes que se vendió inmediatemente!

Fall Transition

Hello, loves! Can you believe it’s already November?! This year has gone way too fast, at least it feels that way to me, especially because of all the work and travel. I’ve been so excited for Fall, but it seems like the South hasn’t received the memo. It’s been so warm, it’s surpassing records! So, I prepared a great Fall look with Zelle Boutique that can easily transition into Fall weather when the temps drop in the evenings. This shift dress is perfect with the Fall colors and under lining. It can be worn with sandals or booties for sure. In both looks I prepared I decided to so with booties, but for my daytime look I went without any layers. For my evening look, I switched up the booties and added the leather jacket (which as of now is lost because I left it on the plane on my way back to work in Tennessee! Fingers crossed that the airline is able to return it to me!). This dress is super versatile, it can also be belted for a more figure forming look.

Hola, amores! Pueden creer que ya estamos en Noviembre?? Este año ha pasado demasiado rápido! Por lo menos, así se siente para mi debido al exceso de trabajo y viajes. He estado bien ansiosa por la llegada de otoño, pero parece que el Sur no ha recibido el mensaje. Ha estado demasiado cálido, hasta ha superado récords! Así, que preparé este look de transición junto a Zelle Boutique que se puede llevar en otoño desde templado hasta un poco más frío por las noches. Este trajecito es perfecto, pues tiene los colores de la temporada y tiene una capa protectora debajo. Se puede combinar con sandalias o botines, de seguro. En ambos looks que preparé, decidí usar botines, pero para de día no llevé capas. Para mi look nocturno, cambié las botas y opté por llevar una chaqueta de cuero (el cual al momento está perdido porque lo dejé en el avión en mi último vuelo de regreso a trabajar en Tennessee. Dedos cruzados para que la aerolínea me lo devuelva!). Este traje es super versátil, también se puede añadir una correa para demostrar la figura.

What I wore / Llevaba puesto:
Dress, sunnies & jewelry: Zelle Boutique
First look booties: Shoedazzle
Second look: Booties and Bag: JustFab
Leather Jacker: Andrew Marc (found at Ross)

Champagne Stroll with OPEN Downtown Pop Up Shops

Hi loves! A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to co-host an event with my good friend Christina Ochoa, entrepreneur, blogger and founder of The Social Butterfly Gal. We had this fabulous idea to lead a Champagne Stroll in the beautiful historical area of La Villita, right after one of our favorite boutiques, Zelle Boutique, opened a long term pop shop in the shopping village with OPEN Downtown Pop Ups SA. This organization finds unused spaces in the city and rents them out to local shops for a 90 day period maximum in an effort to drive traffic to the area, so potential investors how the spaces can be used and of course create awareness of these wonderful local shops that don’t have a storefront, but mostly run online or on social media. We thought, well there are about 5 shops with the program open in La Villita, why don’t we host a fun event to hit them all up in one night?! And so we did! We were able to partner with OPEN and host the Champagne Stroll as a blogger event, because who more than us will make proper use of our social media influence to bring awareness to the amazing shops in the program! I mean, we DO love shopping! We had a blast! We visited Zelle Boutique, Bird & Pear, B.Link, Capistrano Soap Co. and Indigo Makers Collective. Each shop offered us champagne, cocktails and treats and an exclusive look into their collections while we played a fun social media driven Scavenger Hunt. It was so much fun! Definitely looking into hosting more events like this in the future.
First Stop: Zell Boutique
Next Stop: Capistrano Soap Co.
Next Stop: Bird & Pear
Next Stop: B.Link

Christina and I at the last stop, Indigo Makers Collective. All shiny after running around, lol.

*Special thank you to OPEN Downtown Pop Ups SA for sponsoring this event!*

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*

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

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.

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

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!