That Time I Spoke at a Ted Talk

I have to say, that I still can’t believe that I spoke at a TEDx Talk. If you’ve been living under a rock, then you might have not heard of TED. Just kidding, but really… TED has become the most widely known global platform for people of every discipline to share their ideas, world vision and plans to change the world. In essence, this organization believes “passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.” Visit to watch the talks on any subject, you name it, they have it. I’ve been watching these TED Talks for quite some time, becoming inspired that it is possible to spread awareness and game changing ideas, but I NEVER thought I’d be on a stage doing it one day, EVER. When I was approached by my former boss, within the same company (I work for AT&T), I honestly brushed it off. This was a TEDx, an independently run event, hosted by AT&T. The process involved submitting an idea, obtaining enough votes and going through a 2nd round of votes to make it to the actual stage. I honestly didn’t think I had anything worth offering, which now I look back and find it outrageous that I lacked the confidence to just go for it. Two weeks later, I received an email from her imploring me to please submit my proposal, and that I had 30 minutes to do so. I spent 10 minutes looking at my screen, thinking “What could I possibly contribute? My passions lie in Environmental Awareness, and I’m not even working in that field!” I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not what I set out to do. All those years of studying and crying over my thesis to complete my Masters in Natural Resource Management, had started to feel like a waste because I hadn’t the courage to start a new career after being so comfortable in my current job. 
Long story short, I decided to submit my TEDx proposal under the Community category shedding light on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and sharing some life hacks to reduce our impact on the plastic waste generated by us (with 5 minutes to spare on the deadline) and I ended up being selected! When I received the call that I had made the cut, I was shaking, screaming in excitement and suddenly felt nauseated. Reality set in that I was going to present a 9 minute talk on the most prestigious global stage AND I had to be accurate and compelling. Twelve of us were selected and we had only 6 weeks to prepare. Fortunately, we had amazing coaches, to whom I am absolutely grateful, because without them I would have not even been close to feeling as confident as I did when I was up on that stage. Granted, this Talk is only to be seen within the company (to our knowledge, we are not sure if AT&T will release our videos to the general public. If they do, you’ll be the first to know!), I still had an audience of 50 people and over 280,000 AT&T employees will have access to view our talks. No pressure!
We arrived at the AT&T Headquarters in Dallas the day before we were scheduled to film the event and I got to meet all the other presenters, which was so lovely. We had our rehearsals on the actual stage and I was so nervous, I was trembling and stuttering, even forgetting some important details I wanted to include in my talk. We didn’t have a teleprompter. This was to be performed by memory with just a few visual slides. It was very humbling to see the other presenters share how nervous they were as well. We shared  tips and tricks with each other to combat those nerves. And to add to the nerves, I had to make sure I projected a look that represented my style, without taking the attention away from the message I wanted to convey. I chose a simple black dress by Calvin Klein, black patent pumps from ShoeDazzle and then came the matter of my hair. I wanted to look professional and sophisticated without compromising my essence, which is kind of represented by my curly hair. Many people told me that I should straighten my hair because it “looks more professional”, and that sent a shiver down my spine. Although, I love being versatile with my hair and switch it up between straight and curly, after reading those comments I felt a responsibility to show the world, and other curly, textured haired girls that we can look polished and sophisticated, while invoking a strong presence and respect in the professional world. 
All in all, it was an incredible experience and I look back at it with so much pride. I’m so happy with how my Talk turned out. I hit every point I wanted to hit, created a call to action within my workplace and represented my passions, heritage and company with dignity. This opportunity is already opening doors for me! I immediately started to receive praises by individuals within the organization and find myself one step closer to my dream job. All the blood, sweat and tears shed along the years to achieve my goals have definitely not been in vain. Everything I’ve ever done in my life has led me to this moment, where I am seeing my dreams come true before my eyes. I now see the potential, the infinite possibilities and I will, without a doubt, continue to forge on until I reach the stars. There’s no backing down from here!
Victory Lap!

**Photos provided by Scotty Young Photography**

“Even the most inspiring vision will become a reality only with the powerful support of civil society. It must be felt as a matter of personal commitment by large numbers of people. It must be shared, reflected in daily life and firmly established as a guideline shaping patterns of action within society.”

-Daisaku Ikeda               
2012 Annual Environmental Proposal
United Nations  Conference on Sustainable Development

Adore Botanicals Review

Hi, everybody! I’m so happy to finally launch a video about curly haircare! I received this product from Adore Botanicals, so go ahead and click on the video above to watch the review and so you can get to know a little more about my hair. I’m definitely going to be showing you guys more about my curly hair routines, tips and favorite products. Hope you all like the segment!

Santikos Casa Blanca Theatre is Open!

I love going to the movie theatre and Santikos has been my favorite since I arrived in Texas. I think the first movie my husband and I watched was at the Embassy 14, with an Art Deco vibe it was perfect for the foreign film we watched, but I must admit, it’s a bit far for me. After that, we started visiting the Palladium IMAX Theatre, and we absolutely love the environment, the food and entertainment with the free concert series they offer on the weekends. Now with the opening of the new Casa Blanca Theatre, we are so excited to have a new experience in audio and visual technology they have to offer. I recently attended the grand opening, and was beyond impressed at all of the amenities they have to offer! The location at Alamo Ranch, still close to my home, is the first 100% laser projection multiplex movie theatre in the world. Laser projection is a major game-changer in the cinema industry delivering better picture clarity, better color saturation, and a three times brighter image for the best movie viewing experience. As a serious movie buff, like myself, this is very important to me. They also have the best sound technology with Klipsch speakers, the Dolby Atmos Surround Sound System in the AVX auditoriums, and the two biggest screens in Texas. And you know EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas! This is going to be THE hotspot for family and friends entertainment in San Antonio as they also have a full bowling alley, full service sports bar, arcade and café. 
My husband and I love going to the movies, and it’s a major date night for us. We went the next day after the grand opening to watch the Warcraft film (we’re also major nerds!) and were absolutely blown away by the huge screen, incredible sound and the most comfortable reclining chairs we’ve ever sat in. We enjoyed delicious margaritas and local Texas beer, while watching our movie and my husband leans over and says, “I think this is gonna be our new go to movie theatre”. I totally agree! 
Not only has Santikos hit the ball out of the park when it comes to entertainment and family fun, but they have also led the way when it comes to being the most charitable entity in the city! Extending the charitable legacy on behalf of the late John L. Santikos, Casa Blanca and all the Santikos Theatres exist for the sole purpose of giving back to the community. Through the operation of the theatre, $12 million will be given to the community in 2016. The San Antonio Area Foundation, under which the Santikos entity is now organized as a social enterprise, the fund is estimated to generate $20 million a year or $400,000 per week for the community over the next 10 years. We are so happy that people in need, from senior citizens, and special needs and victims of abuse to the arts and culture will be benefitted by such a generous entity. San Antonio is so fortunate to be the home of the Santikos legacy!

My look for the Grand Opening was comfy and summer inspired.
Date night with the hubs, watching Warcraft (Margarita in hand)
Be sure to make the Casa Blanca a destination for your family, friends and date night entertainment! Find out how to win VIP tickets to Casa Blanca below!

**I received compensation for this post, but I sure you, all opinions are my own**

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Pop of Red

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t wear nearly enough Red in my life. I had seen these shoes all over my Instagram feed and the original Aquazurra pair was way out of budget. I was about to get the Steve Madden version (on sale at Macy’s), but first I took a peek in my Just Fab Showroom and there they were! Obviously, at $39.99, for a pair of shoes that I’d only wear on certain occasions I had to get them! I was going to wear them with a dress, but I decided to try them out with a structured top and boyfriend jeans. I loved the look. It’s perfect for Happy Hour with the girls or Brunch. I’m also excited about whipping out my favorite Michael Kors clutch I bought when I was living in PR. On the island, I would take that clutch everywear! The Santorini Collection has been long discontinued, but you can still find it on Ebay!

Seré la primera en admitir que no tengo suficientes piezas rojas en mi armario. Había visto estos zapatos por todo Instagram y los originales de Aquazurra estaban muy fuera de mi presupuesto. Estaba a punto de comprar la version de Steve Madden, que estaban en especial en Macy’s, pero primero miré en mi cuenta de Just Fab, y ahí los tenían! Obviamente, $39.99 por unos zapatos que sólo iba a usar en ciertas ocasiones no se podía dejar pasar! Me los iba a poner con un trajecito, pero decidí probarlos con una blusa estructurada y unos mahones estilo “boyfriend”. Me encantó el look! Está perfecto para unos tragos con mis amigas o para un Brunch. También estoy emocionada porque ya puedo sacar a la luz esta clutch que me compré hace varios años, mientras vivía en Puerto Rico. La usaba todo el tiempo cuando vivía en la isla! La Collección Santorini ya está descontinuada, pero se pueden encontrar varias piezas aún por Ebay!
Shot by Ciara Johnson from Hey Ciara
What I wore/ Llevaba puesto:
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Just Fab
Clutch: Michael Kors Santorini
Bracelets: Mishelle Reverse Cuff by Loren Hope from Rocksbox
YSL Quote Bracelet from Voge Boutique (San Antonio Location)

**Get your first month of Rocksbox FREE with my Special Code JEANELLYBFF**