When Your Sister Raids Your Closet

Happy Holidays, everybody! I hope you’re all enjoying this time of year with your loved ones. This year, my mother and my sister, Cece surprised me with a Holiday visit and we had a fabulous Christmas party which they helped me plan, prep and host. We’ve been having a blast touring the city and surrounding Hill Country. I’ve been dying to photograph Cece for the longest time and the weather had been pretty nice so we went to the local nature park in my neighborhood. We had some fun raiding my closet for some cool outfits we put together for the shoot. She fits in my clothes better than I do! Haha!

Felices Pascuas! Espero que estén disfrutando de las fiestas junto a sus seres más queridos. Este año, mi madre y mi hermana, Cece me sorprendieron con una visita para las Navidades y celebramos con una fiesta de Noche Buena bien fabulosa en mi casa. Hemos estado disfrutando como turistas en la ciudad y los campos aledaños. Yo estaba loca por fotografiar a mi hermana desde hace tiempo, y como el clima estaba muy bueno fuimos a tomar las fotos en un parque forestal dentro de mi urbanización. Disfrutamos jugando dentro de mi closet, buscando outfits para el shoot. A ella le queda mejor mi ropa que a mi! Jaja!

Plaid Blazer & Velvet Pants

December is here! I absolutely can’t believe how fast the year has gone by! It barely feels like Fall here in Texas, much less Winter, but I’m doing my best to make it feel like the Holidays! This office look is Business Casual, but still feels a little festive with the velvet slacks and since it’s not cold, I can still get away with wearing slipper mules and be super comfy, yet stylish. I work on my feet, so I honestly prefer to wear flats. I’m really loving mules and loafers, stealing from the men. I find that the best way to soften the masculine look, I like a touch of feminine details like the bow on the shoes and a mix of dainty and statement jewelry. 
Notice that I changed my hair color from Pink to deep purple/blue. What do you think?

Ya ha llegado Diciembre! De verdad que no puedo creer lo rápido que ha pasado el año! Apenas se siente como Otoño en Texas, mucho menos como Invierno, pero estoy tratando de por lo menos hacerlo sentir como Navidad! Este look de oficina es semi-casual, pero se siente un poco festivo con los pantalones de terciopelo. Como no hace frío, me puedo poner estas zapatillas para estar cómoda sin sacrificar estilo. Yo trabajo mucho de pie, así que uso muchas zapatillas versus tacones. Me encantan los mocasines! Para suavizar el look masculino prefiero llevar un detalle que se vea femenino como el lazo en los zapatos y una joyería delicada. 
Si se fijan, también me cambié el color de pelo de rosado a violeta/azul. Que les parece?

What I wore/ Llevaba puesto:
Blazer: Merona at Target (no longer available. Similar here)
Shoes: Boohoo USA
Engraved Bangle: Stella & Dot

Giving Thanks Also Means Giving Back

Hello, lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! I spent mine in Houston, TX with friends from Puerto Rico and it was so great! That feeling of familiarity is absolutely necessary when you’re so far from home. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving in Mexico City, and since it’s not really celebrated as a Holiday, hubby and I ended up having dinner at a quaint seafood restaurant. I was just thankful to have my husband be able to visit me while I was working in Mexico. This year, I yearned for some family time and a real Thanksgiving dinner. We had a wonderful time with our friends’ family and they even had Veggie Friendly options in the menu, which was great since I’m still trying to follow a plant-based diet. 

We also had a chance to explore a little bit of Houston and visited the Buffalo Bayou Park, which had been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey floods. We could see the damage but there was great restoration progress. It was nice to see how Houston is getting back on its feet. My biggest hope is to see my beautiful island of Puerto Rico, which was hit by TWO back to back hurricanes this season, Irma and Maria, do the same. I am still so grateful to the Universe that my family and friends back home are ok and their homes did not suffer any substantial damage. They were very fortunate, especially in comparison to so many people who lost everything. It is sad, but us Caribbeans are a resilient people, and Puerto Ricans always maintain high spirits no matter what. I’ve been doing everything I can to help, even though I’m far from home. Helping from far is difficult, but not impossible. Through different organizations like Unidos por Puerto Rico, AT&T Employee Resource Groups, and Puerto Rico Rising, I’ve been able to give back to my island. If you wish to contribute please consider these organizations, who have already made great strides in trying to help the people get back on their feet, but there is still so much work to be done! 

Here are the current stats:
67 Days after Maria 
Status.pr reports:
*58% power generation (generation doesn’t mean consumption; the government doesn’t provide that number)
*93% of people have water (boil advisory in effect)
*1,154 survivors remain in the 42 shelters that are still open

To help Puerto Rico with other local organizations on the island. Please consider these:

Casa Pueblo 
Bori Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief 
Friends of Culebra Animals

For a more comprehensive list of local organizations that are verified as reliable, check out my sister-in-law’s blog here.

Thank you for stopping by 

None of us can exist in isolation. Our lives and existence are supported by others in seen and unseen ways, be it by parents, mentors or society at large. To be aware of these connections, to feel appreciation for them, and to strive to give something back to society in a spirit of gratitude is the proper way for human beings to live.

-Daisaku Ikeda

Keeping it Neutral for Fall

As temps begin to drop in the Fall, I begin to wear thicker pieces and of course layers. In San Antonio, it’s been chilly in the morning and 80 degrees by the afternoon, so really what I do in the morning is wear a cardigan because for me, it’s just not that cold. This top is a light sweater material with a cowl neck, and it’s my go to top in the Fall. I think I wear it at least once a week! For this look, I  wore it with jeans, but spruced it up with my Stella & Dot Fall line accessories and my Target hat. My current bag on rotation is this belt bag from Stella & Dot. I AM OBSESSED! I can wear it as a cross body, a clutch or a belt bag. It’s so versatile and believe it or not the “fanny pack” has officially made a come back and I am here for it! I’m also loving the beautiful Rose Gold engraved jewelry that I personalized, like my necklace/name plate and the bracelet, which I engraved with the coordinates of my Wedding location. I wear these pieces every single day. 

Ahora que comienzan a bajar las temperaturas, yo comienzo a ponerme piezas más gruesas y, por supuesto, capas. En San Antonio, ha estado un poco frío en las mañanas y luego 80 grados en la tarde, así que lo que hago en la mañana es ponerme un abrigo liviano porque para mi no hace tanto frío aún. Esta blusa me gusta porque es de material de abrigo liviano, con un cuello suelto y la uso constantemente. Creo que me la pongo al menos una vez por semana. Para este look, me la puse con mahones, pero le añadí mis accesorios de Stella & Dot y un sombrero de Target. Mi bolso que no me quito es un 3 en 1 de Stella & Dot. ESTOY OBSESIONADA! Me la puedo poner como un bolso cruzado, una clutch o como correa. También amo mucho mi joyería en oro rosado que he personalizado como mi cadena que lleva mi nombre y la pulsera que mandé a ponerle las coordenadas de la localización de mi boda. Llevo estas piezas a diario!

What I wore/ Llevaba puesto
Top: Vince (from Marshalls)
High Waist Jeans: H&M
Booties: Just Fab
Hat: Target
Bowery Belt Bag: Stella & Dot
Engraved Jewelry: Stella & Dot

Halloween Fun with 13th Floor & Great Room Escape

Just in time for Halloween! I was recently invited to the 13th Floor Haunted House San Antonio for a fun Media Night event. I’ve only been to 2 haunted house events in the past and one of them didn’t impress me at all, to be honest. I could confidently say that I don’t scare easily, until now…

I told my husband about it and he was ready for it, thinking he doesn’t scare either, since we were huge fans of Halloween. We arrived at Sunset Station in Downtown San Antonio, and the first thing he said was how creepy it was that the location was right by the train tracks. Ha! The lead production manager, Mama (as they call her) lead us through the tour, walking a few steps ahead of us. Between us, I think she told the entire crew that we were going through to give us an extra scare for the FULL experience. The full tour takes about 25 minutes and was a huge maze filled with dark spots, creepy people popping out of hidden crevices, and screams all around. It really is a super fun experience if you like a good scare! Even my husband said it was the creepiest, yet funnest date we’ve had. I highly recommend this experience, especially since it’s the #1 Haunted House in America rated by The Travel Channel, USA Today and The Huffington Post. Don’t miss it before it ends on November 4th!

I also had a chance to experience the Great Room Escape with a scary twist through Virtual Reality! Check out the video below as I try to decipher the clues and escape the haunted room!

For tickets and info visit: 13thfloorsanantonio.com and greatroomescape.com

*I received free tickets to the 13th Floor for this post. Don’t worry, all opinions are my own.*

I’m not a Vegan, but…

Before I get bombarded, please just hear me out! I have pretty much tried every diet under the sun. Although some have worked, granting me fast results, the traveling lifestyle has made it very difficult to reach my goals and keep the weight off. Not only that, diets like Paleo, Keto, or Atkins ALWAYS leave me with the lowest energy and pretty much sluggish to the point that I don’t even want to work out. So, about a year ago, my husband suggested we do a two week cleanse without any meat or dairy. I was so reluctant! Take away my eyes, but not my cheese!! He insisted that he was feeling sluggish like animal products were poisoning our bodies and we needed to detox. So, I agreed. I prepared like crazy, did a ton of research and found recipes fit for two weeks for a whole foods plant based diet, no frozen or pre-packaged foods that simulated meat, either. We went all in! I felt amazing, with so much energy, and even lost some weight! After the cleanse period, we went back to our old habits and every couple of months we’d do the cleanse. At the beginning of the year, I started an exercise regimen and was attending classes regularly, showing results, but it was super slow and then I hit a plateau. It was discouraging. In the past, I’d immediately see results and hit my goals quickly, but this was different. I asked my trainer and she suggested to add more plant based meals. I knew what I had to do. 
Homemade Veggie Wrap with Broccoli Slaw

After my 35th birthday, I decided to go Vegan and take it as far as I could. I watched several documentaries, including Cowspiracy and What the Health. I honestly had no idea how toxic the meat industry was and how detrimental to the environment the production was. This information was enough to support my decision, so I went in. I was firm for 2 months and lost 10 lbs, felt strong and had a healthy relationship with food. I found that there are so many restaurants that cater to Vegetarian and even Vegan lifestyles, and there are so many Veggie Friendly restaurants in San Antonio! There is definitely a movement in the city and it is so refreshing! 
Green Vegetarian Cuisine

It hasn’t been super difficult and to be honest, it’s a lot cheaper. I’ve noticed that Veggie centric plates in restaurants are the least expensive and purchases at the grocery store, as well. I’ll still cook some meat for my husband but it’s not the center of our meal. I’ll cook classic dishes like rice & beans with Chicken for him, but then I’ll roast some Brussel Sprouts or Asparagus for myself, so it’s not exactly 2 separate meals. The key is planning. I plan ahead for the week on Sundays if I can, and when I don’t have the time to plan, I make sure to buy everything I need for myself when we do the groceries. It’s not that hard when you have the mindset to succeed.

Warm Veggie Salad
Going back to my title statement… I really missed fish, and cheese. So, I’ve made the decision to not put myself in a box and classify myself as a Vegan, or Vegetarian  or Raw, or this or that. Not even a Flexitarian, which actually fits more with my real eating habits, if we’re being honest. The reason why, is because I want to succeed. I don’t want to fall into a specific category and beat myself up if I “fail”. I want to be able to make the right choices, enjoy myself and have a healthy relationship with food and people. I don’t want to restrict myself from simple pleasures if I want to eat a piece of cheese one day and all plants the next. I want to be free of judgements from others and even from myself; the first is nearly impossible but I’ve gotten to the point where I feel that I don’t have to justify myself to anybody, especially if I’m doing something for the greater good with a few adjustments. So, I will continue to eat mostly whole foods plant-based, because it fits in best with what I believe in and my body really loves it. And, every once in a blue moon I’ll have that piece of cheese, most likely from a sustainable farm from Europe, lol.

Polite AF

Pardon my french, but this top got me like… Haha! As we begin to transition to Fall, I start inclining towards darker colors, and as a New Yorker, Black is always my favorite color, lol. I actually go out of my way and make an effort to step out of my comfort zone and seek more color in my wardrobe, but every once in a while, I go back to black. This top is my new favorite, not just because of the funny message, but the fit and feel are so perfect. My girl Michelle from Chic’tique always has the cutest selection of clothing and accessories, and this top is no exception. When it comes to these jeans, I had seen them in a reposted pic on Facebook and looked for them desperately in Texas and online, to no avail. I finally tracked down the source of the photo and traced it to a boutique in Puerto Rico! I reached out to the shop owner and it turned out that she does ship to Texas, so I was ecstatic!! These jeans fit like a cross between mom jeans and girlfriend jeans (not as loose as boyfriend jeans), which means I love the fit on my booty! The fun print just gives my look a little something extra so I paired it with simple pointed black pumps. It was the perfect Friday date night look for dinner & drinks. Warning: Avoid wearing this top to the office if your job has a conservative dress code!

Disculpen las palabras soeces, pero esta blusa me tiene…Jaja! Ahora que empezamos a transicionar al Otoño, yo me comienzo a inclinar hacia los colores más oscuros. Como pura Nuyorquina, negro es mi color favorito. En realidad yo me esfuerzo y me salgo de mi zona de confort  por incorporar más color en mi atuendo, pero de vez en cuando regreso al negro. Esta blusa ya se ha convertido en mi pieza favorita; no sólo por el mensaje jocoso, pero también como queda y se siente. Mi amiga Michelle de Chic’tique acaba de abrir su boutique en Broadway y tiene la mejor selección de ropa y accesorios y esta blusa no es excepción. En cuanto a estos mahones, fue una aventura conseguirlos. Los vi en Facebook reportado por un contacto y los estuve buscando a nivel local y en la web, pero no los conseguí. Indagué con la foto original y descubrí que eran de una boutique en Puerto Rico! Me puse en contacto con la dueña y me alegré tanto cuando me dijo que sí enviaba a Texas! Estos mahones quedan más como un estilo Girlfriend jeans, no tan sueltos como boyfriend jeans, lo cual es buena noticia para mis pompas porque este corte me luce mejor. El estampado divertido le da a mi look un toque especial así que mantuve mis zapatos sencillos con unos tacones puntiagudos negros. El look estuvo perfecto para el Viernes de cena y tragos. Advertencia: No debería usar esta blusa en su trabajo si es una oficina con código de vestimenta conservador!

What I wore/ Llevaba puesto:
Fringe Necklace: Stella & Dot
Jarne Coil Bracelet: Stella & Dot
Engraved Rose Gold Bracelet: Stella & Dot
Chelsea Bag: Stella & Dot
Despina Pump: JustFab

Navigating My Way to Healthy Skin with SkinFix

Happy Makeup Free Monday! Today, we’re talking skincare. I have to admit, I’ve never had perfect skin. Well, maybe before puberty… But ever since then, I’ve had mild acne, enlarged pores, oily t-zone and even patchy dry skin, depending on the weather. I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve tried everything out there for my skin. My current approach has been natural or natural based products. I had already changed my eating habits to organic, non-gmo, so why not my skin? What you put ON your body is just as important as what you put IN it. I’ve tried many different brands of natural beauty products, loved some, others not so much. Enter SkinFix
I started using SkinFix about two weeks ago. They’re a Canada based company, that uses natural ingredients like Coconut Oil, mineral-rich Canadian Glacier and Brazilian Volcanic clays for a deep detox and my skin is loving it! They smell amazing and leave my skin feeling refreshed and so soft. The Foaming Oil Cleanser is amazing! It removes my makeup and toxins from the environment with very little effort. I really love that these products are dermatologist recommended, free of synthetic fragrance, parabens, phthalates and sulfates, which means healthy skin to me. They’ve won so many awards, like the prestigious Allure Beauty Awards and the Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards, it would be crazy not to try them. AND the icing on the cake? They’re cruelty-free, affordable and available at Target
Foaming Clay Cleanser & Foaming Oil Cleanser
Face Cleansing Cloths

*These products were provided by SkinFix for purpose of testing and reviewing. All opinions are my own.*

Floral Romper & Rose Curls

Hello, Lotuses! I hope you’re enjoying the last part of Summer. This Texas heat is no joke! Last weekend we had a record breaking temperature of 105 F, but that didn’t stop me from going out to support the local events being held that day. Although, when I got home I totally crashed from exhaustion! At any rate, I wanted to share how much I love this new romper I found at none other than Ross, and of course it was a total steal! It’s cotton so the fabric was perfect and breezy. I just love it. I thought I’d wear heels that day, but I found these flat slip ons and I’ve been wearing them none stop for the last month. The ruffle detail is the perfect delicate flair I need in flats. So, I’m not sure if you noticed, but I went a little pink for my birthday a few months ago, and I’ve been able to maintain the color without damaging my hair or spending a fortune. My bff introduced me to Overtone and I’m obsessed! They have color conditioners and weekly deep treatments that refresh my color and protect my curls just by depositing the color on my existing highlights. I think I’m going lavender next. What do you think?

Hola, mis Lotos! Espero que estén disfrutando lo último que queda del verano. Este calor de Texas no está jugando! El fin de semana pasado tuvimos temperaturas que rompió récord de 105 F, pero eso no me detuvo de apoyar actividades de ese día. Aunque cuando regresé a mi casa, caí muerta del cansancio! De todos modos, les quería compartir lo mucho que me encanta este romper que casualmente encontré en Ross y claro está a un precio increíble! Es de algodón así que el material es super fresco. Me encanta. Pensé en llevar tacones, pero también encontré estas sandalias y me las he puesto constantemente como por un mes. Tiene uno volantes que le dan un toque delicado perfecto. Bueno, y no sé si se han dado cuenta, pero me teñí el cabello de rosa hace unos meses para mi cumpleaños, es sutil, pero ahí está. Me lo he logrado mantener sin dañar mi cabello y sin gastar una fortuna gracias a Overtone, que mi mejor amiga me recomendó. La línea tiene una serie de acondicionadores que depositan color y unos tratamientos semanales que refrescan mi rosado y me protege los rizos sólo depositando el color en mis “highlights” existentes. Creo que para la próxima me lo cambio a una lavanda o algo así. Qué creen?

Photos by Marlena Gonzales

Summer in the Texas Hill Country

Hello, lovely lotuses! Last week, I took the week off acting as tour guide showing around my brother in law who came to visit us from Puerto Rico. We went everywhere! We took them all around downtown, from the Alamo, to the Tower of Americas and the Riverwalk. We went tubing down the Comal, a brief dessert on the Lake in Austin and, of course, Fredericksburg. This quaint German town has completely stolen my heart and I take every chance I get to visit. Anytime a family member comes to visit, we take them and they fall in love, too. Only 1.5 hours away from San Antonio, this town in the Texas Hill Country is home to all of the best Texas wineries, including my all time favorite, Grape Creek Vineyards. Relaxing on the deck, sipping wine with soothing music playing in the background is my absolute favorite pastime. We took our guests on a Tuesday afternoon, with a picnic basket filled with delicious cheeses, french bread, charcuterie and spreads. It was lovely! Perfect Summer staycation in Texas!

Hola mis hermosas flores de loto! La semana pasada me tomé la semana de vacaciones y actuamos como guía turístico con mi cuñado quien nos vino a visitar de Puerto Rico. Fuimos a todas partes! Los llevamos por todo San Antonio desde el Alamo, hasta la Torre de las Américas y el Riverwalk. Flotamos por el Río Comal, comimos postre frente al lago en Austin, y no faltaba la visita a Fredericksburg. Este lindo pueblo Alemán se ha robado mi corazón y tomo cualquier oportunidad de ir a visitar. Cada vez que cualquier familiar nos viene a visitar, los llevamos y se enamoran también. A tan solo una hora y media de San Antonio, este pueblo en Texas es el hogar de los mejores viñedos en Texas, incluyendo  mi favorito, Grapecreek Vineyards. Pasar una tarde en la terraza con un vinito y música relajante es mi pasatiempo favorito. Llevamos a nuestros invitados un Martes por la tarde, con una canasta llena de quesos, jamones ibéricos, pan francés y más. Fue una delicia! Unas vacaciones perfectas en Texas!

I’d like to take a moment to make a request. If you can take a quick moment to click on the link under photo below and nominate me for Blogger of the Year for the 2017 San Antonio Fashion Awards. I’ve been blogging close to 4 years now, and it has been so much fun showing you guys my outfits, part of my fitness journey and travel adventures. I appreciate you all taking the time to stop by my blog and following along with me. Thank you all so much!