Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hopefully, by Next Week...

Apologies for not keeping up with the 21 day challenge or regular posting. Things have been a little hectic around here what with work proposals, freelance work, C25K training, and other things. We've just found out today that one of our co-workers passed away. It was sudden and we are still all in shock.

Will be back soon. Just need a bit of time.

Peace and love to you all!

Monday, August 15, 2011

To Quote Bob Marley...

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect - you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

- Bob Marley

via Rachel Reports Life

Friday, August 05, 2011

Kayla's 21 Day Challenge

Kayla from Freckles in April has come up with a little blogging challenge. For 21 days, she will issue prompts and the bloggers following the challenge will do their best to do said fashion prompt. While I haven't done a blog challenge before, I think I'm really up for this one. Perhaps it's the element of surprise, never knowing what that prompt may be.

Intrigued? Visit Freckles in April and read the 21 Day Challenge post.

21 Day Challenge

Won't you join? It does seem like a terribly good bit of fun. Hope to see you there!

This Is Mi Puerto Rico: Humacao

My boyfriend Damián and his cousin Lucas love taking pictures. I love taking pictures too, but they will wake me up at 4:00 AM to take pictures of birds. This was one of those occasions.

We drove over to Humacao to a reserve there. It wasn't long before the rain came down on us. Even with the rain, it was such a nice day. Got to commune with nature, breathe fresh air, all in all, get away from the hubbub of city life. Everyone should do it every once in a while.

All images in post were taken by me. Do not take without permission.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I Wouldn't Mind...

This dress! Isn't it gorgeous? Short in front, longer in the back, with a little sheer business going on...perfect for summer or "winter" with some leggings. I'm seriously liking this puppy. Made by Peeko Apparel and coming in at $89.00. Maybe a little steep for me right now, but I love the idea, how just utterly fantastic it looks.

Drop by Peeko's Etsy page and check out her other stuff!

All images in this post belong to Peeko Apparel.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Rules or Happiness?

This corgi is happy. Are you this happy? (Image via Corgis Everywhere!)

It started out innocently enough. The other day, Sally at Already Prettymade a post on styling tricky accessories. I was wearing my red pants that day, and, in PR, it's not common to see girls in bright pants. Or, at least, I don't tend to see them.

In my comment, I included my red pants, adding that while some people may argue against them because they draw attention to the size of my hips and butt, they make me quite happy. So what should I do? Follow the rules or follow my happiness?

This all got me to thinking about all the things many of us postpone or simply ignore because they just "don't follow the rules". I have too many friends who haven't studied what they like, wear what they want, or say what they think because it is out of the norm. I even dated a guy who was studying medicine because "that's just what the firstborns do" in his family. He desperately wanted to study literature or history.

If we start imposing limits on ourselves in something as basic as clothes (because, let's face it, we need protection from rain, sun, and temperature, so clothes are a basic need; why not have a little fun with them?), what else will we limit ourselves upon? I'm not telling you to go start a revolution, but I am telling you to find a way to express yourself and find ways to state your truth and be happy. As long as you respect yourself and others while you're at it, you should be fine.

Just think about it. How many things do you hold back on? You might start off with that shirt because maybe it's too bright and you'd be too shy to wear it out. Then maybe you realize you might not want to do something you really like because, wow. Not a lot of people do it so it must be embarrassing. What next? I know it may sound a bit...hyperbolic. But think about it. How much are we limiting ourselves because of supposed rules and worries over what people may think?

At the risk of sounding corny, as far as we know, we only live once. We don't know what happens after that. So why not make it a good one, full of happiness and little to no regrets. Say yes to happiness! Wear your favorite color, even if others think it's loud. Travel alone, even if people say "it looks bad" for a woman to travel by herself. Shave your head, go backpacking across Europe, volunteer to teach in Peru if that's what you like. Just follow your heart and be safe.

Genghis demands your happiness. Otherwise, he will hit you with this stick.

How do you say yes to happiness?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Caskibaches (Or, I'm Officially a Vintage Reseller?)

A couple of Sundays ago, I had the pleasure of selling at the Caskibaches fleamarket at Executive Manolo in Santurce. Let me tell you, it was fun! Everybody was so nice, I sold some vintage, second-hand, and jewelry made by me. I also scored some stuff as well! An Ikea lamp that I'd been craving for a while, a old globe, and some lovely Trinkets necklaces made by Nydia López.

A little slow at the start.

Trinkets' corner.

Terekes' corner.

Friendly sellers!

Executive Manolo's mascot.

My little corner at Caskibaches.

While there, La bella y las bestias and The Bee's Knees did their own musical thing. Unfortunately, I don't have pics of them as I was too busy jammin' along and saying hello to old friends who are leaving island soon.

Executive Manolo is a store in the Santurce area of San Juan. They have their own vintage resellers, Terekes, and their own new designs (I may be itching for one of their shirts). They also have concerts! So be sure to swing by Executive Manolo or visit us all at the next Caskibaches (which I'll be sure to mention here). We'll be waiting!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Wouldn't Mind...

This dress from JulyS on Etsy. Priced at $59.00, it seems like a deliciously soft option for these nasty summer days. The small open back at the bottom provides a neat cool factor, both in the literal and figurative sense.

JulyS is run by 3 ladies that design and make everything in the shop. They have tons more goodies! Visit them here.

All images in this post belong to JulyS.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís: A Visit

I know that my blog is usually about unicorns, rainbows, thrifted finds, and puppies (with the occasional feminist/academic rant thrown in for good measure), but I'd like to get serious for a second. If I sound too preachy, forgive me, but this is very important to me and I'd like to share it with you.

Ever since I was a wee little girl, I wanted a dog. In fact, I remember begging my parents for one, but no chance. Perhaps it's better that it happened like that because when I was 13, a dog wandered into my father's workplace. He became our first rescue, Chewy. Two years later, Maya broke into our home and our hearts. In college, I saved a puppy from being run over. She became Patch, our youngest until I moved to the metro area and came home one day. Genghis was at my apartment door, expecting me, looking like he was about to say, "About time you got here! I'm your new dog!"

My family and I love animals. If I could, I'd adopt more dogs, but there is no more space. That is why I try to donate and/or dedicate time to spreading the word about animal shelters and charities. SASFAPR, also known as the Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís, is specially close to my heart as it is in my hometown. A no-kill shelter, SASFAPR is run by Dellymar Bernal, an incredible woman who dedicates her time and gives all of her heart to these animals.

A short while ago, I visited the shelter to donate some things, and I took some pictures. Dellymar walked a group of visitors around the locale, explaining to us what they do and introducing their tenants.

They serve over 300 animals. Their facilities are quite small, and currently, they do not have water or power, as the land's contracts were not renovated by their benefactor. But they make do with what they have, and are hoping to soon move out to a bigger, better facility, with more room for the cats and dogs.

Maintaining the shelter is a hard endeavor. They help animals heal, spay, and let's not forget the costs of feeding and cleaning after over 300 animals. However, every person there is a volunteer and they do it out of love. Love for these animals and the hope that they will soon find forever homes. If you live near the area, and desire to donate they need the following:

(Newspapers, clorox, cleaning agents, treats, dry and moist food for cats and dogs, mops, buckets, scoopers, disposable gloves and surgical masks, 33 gallon trash bags.)

Please help. Adopt, donate, or sponsor one of these lovely creatures today. They will be forever thankful. And you will be all the more awesome for it. Visit SASFAPR's webpage here. Or drop by their Facebook and ask how you can help make a difference.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

EBEW: Thrift

Yay! Thrift! Let's do this!

I've got a whole lot of outfit going on retrospect, I would've done it a little differently. But I still like the principle. Dresses and blazers are two of my favorite things, but they don't necessarily always work well together. And that belt is throwing the outfit off. Had it been another dress...or maybe another belt...

Oh well. The point of dressing up is experimenting. There will be successful outfits and there will be some not-as-successful ones. Like I've said before, the point is always to try!

Everything in this outfit is thrifted. Blazer, dress, belt, and shoes, all thrifted. Total cost of my outfit? A whopping five dollars. Yup, you read right. $5.00! I've already worn the blazer to death, and the dress is usually worn blazerless, but with a belt, when I'm on the west side of the island. And the shoes have seen their fair share of action too...found them at the fleamarket for $2.00! And they're Nine West, score!

I'd like to thank Jentine and Everybody Everywhere for making this happen. I think that, not only do we get to see each others thrifty styles, we also promote thrifting. And thrifting is good for the Earth, the wallet, and the soul.

Keep thrifting!

Thrift | Everybody, Everywear

Friday, July 15, 2011

On the Subject of Weight

Weight is a very personal subject matter. Whatever you do or don't do to your body is a highly individual decision that shouldn't be influenced by society. Friends and/or family are the only ones that I believe have some say on the matter, particularly if you are in a dangerous situation caused by your weight. But, other than that, I don't think anyone should intervene.

My problem is that many blogs/people/media outlets feel it's their business to go around policing people's bodies, in particular, their weight, shape, and size. Apparently, being a certain size is only acceptable in certain situations. And most of these situations are hypersexualized or highly fetishized. In the end, you're not being loved or accepted for yourself. You're being tentatively welcomed in by molding into their notions of what is acceptable in weight, shape, and size. If you don't concede, fit in, you can ship out.

I think I am particularly sensitive to this because my teenage years were spent with a couple of extra pounds on. While I am tall and many people would argue that the weight wasn't that visible, it was visible enough for some people to poke fun at. I didn't enjoy it, but I didn't give the matter much thought, as I honestly considered high school just a pit stop for a greater time in life. What really annoyed me, in the years to come, were the concepts attached to people who carry extra weight and the way that weight loss/gain/etc. was approached.

This all came to a head during a conversation with a good friend of mine. We began talking about a thread on social media that she started innocently enough. A short while ago, there was a "No Fat Talk" week, and she posted about that on Google Buzz. The conversation went well until some people started reacting negatively to the concepts of fat and no fat talk. That is where our dialogue started.

A summary: the article discussed how a "No Fat Talk" week was implemented to avoid negative body image and to reinforce the idea that beauty was not tied to fat. They interviewed people who worked in dance, an area that is rife with heavy pressure to conform to a body beauty ideal. The concept seemed to work well, but there are still body image issues.

While I understand what "No Fat Talk" week is about, I can also see why people were lashing back. Eliminating the word "fat" from our conversation isn't going to eliminate body issues. Oh no. They are still there. If we did not work with positive reconditioning and self-acceptance, the word fat will have an effect, whether or not it is used in conversation. I understand that people use weight as an arbiter of health and attractiveness. For example, "You look great! Did you lose weight!" or "Wow, you've come into your shape." Things like that always point towards weight gain or loss. And we cannot use weight as an arbiter of health, happiness, or style.

My biggest gripe comes from the fact that people focus on weight so much as an issue of fashion or image. Nobody discusses the dangers of weight loss or gain. Done radically or unnecessarily, you put yourself in dangerous situations. Perhaps we should talk about weight in regards to health: physical, emotional, and psychological. After all, you could be skinny, but if you do not work out and keep your body healthy, you could have a plethora of health problems that a person that could be considered overweight (but works out) has.

Weight should not be a measure of happiness. For some, weight loss or gain will come with happiness, but I believe it is derived from the changes we see, not just because we are subjecting ourselves to roles. Happiness comes from accepting yourself and achieving things that make you feel good. My own weight loss brought me happiness not only because I found myself better in a physical image sense, but because my health was very much improved. My back problems got better, my knee pain subsided.

Perhaps this is my biggest problem with fashion lately. With magazines like Vogue Curvy, that feature one type of "curvy" and it is a highly fetishized and sexualized sort. When you have people like Karl Lagerfeld saying things like "Narrow ribcages are the chicest thing." or "The body has to be impeccable. If it's not, buy small sizes and eat less food."

Yes, the body has to be impeccable. Impeccably healthy, impeccably loved, no matter what. You can be the most fantastic looking person on the outside, but if you are emotionally, psychologically, and physically ill, you're not achieving anything.

Remember: your body is your own. You should be healthy, inside and out. There is beauty in all of us, don't let anybody police you into destroying yourself.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

EBEW: Yellow

Yellow | Everybody, Everywear

Finally! A post and I do EBEW on time. Fabulous! How is everyone? I don't mean to pop in and out sporadically, but I really do keep up with everyone. I just never manage to get up a post. I'm sorry! I will schedule my best to buckle down and get out a couple of posts.

Anyway, I've been wanting to do EBEW for a while. And I have! Except I either never took a picture or forgot to post about it. Oops. Oh well, here's my first EBEW post! I was originally going to wear a maxi skirt, but since we have a nice little storm sitting right on top of us, that wasn't going to happen. On went the pants. Pants are so comfortable. I'd missed you so, pants!

Outfit details:
Top: Hand me down from Mom
Vest: Target
Pants: Burlington Coat Factory
Shoes: Coach

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dress Your Best Week: 1

Ever since I stumbled upon AcademiChic's Dress Your Best Week last year, I was...obsessed. I wanted to participate, but I didn't want to do it without AcademicChic's "permission" so to speak. I felt I was stealing their idea if I didn't wait until they decided to do it again.

Thanks to Already Pretty, I can now do it! In her usual links post, she mentioned that AcademiChic was doing it again! And, though a bit late, I'm jumping at the chance to be a part of this.

That said, I do believe you should dress your best every day, week, month, year. But I'll go deeper into that when I do my finishing post for Dress Your Best Week. But I'd really like to thank AcademiChic for doing this again and Already Pretty for giving the heads up.

Dress Your Best: Legs

When I was little, I didn't really pay attention to my legs. But I sure used them. Jumping off roofs, running, dancing, skating, you name it. I was a bit clumsy, but proud and happy that I had two healthy legs that could take me wherever I needed and wanted.

As time passed and I became a teenager, I grew to appreciate my legs. They were toned and athletic, probably thanks to genetic predisposition and years of running around the yard, chasing pets and crazy cousins. However, I had already received the first of several injuries that would make life a little cumbersome today. Worse, I was being harassed by the person I considered my best friend, and one of the things she did was try to demean my somewhat okay self-image.

I was overweight and sensitive about my figure. I was tall, chubby, and to make things worse for a high school kid, I looked nothing like my classmates. Years later I would learn to love my extremely mixed heritage that made me into the person I am today, but back then, it was difficult to stand out like a sore thumb. Worse, I did not want to conform to the societal beaty standards being imposed upon me. All in all, I figured that I had nice legs, a nice butt, and some pretty good shoulders. If anything, I thought that as the years passed, I would grow into my body or change it for the better. As our friendship slowly but surely spiraled into oblivion, she began to say abusive, hurtful things about my personality and my body, in addition to escalating to actual violence.

It's always easier to believe the negative. I wonder why.

For a long time, I thought my legs were horrible. I suddenly noticed all the scars from my childhood adventures. Scars that once brought me pride and happy memories now embarrassed me and pointed out my inadequacy in a teenage world. I wondered if my legs were too thin or pale. I would bite my tongue and take a deep breath whenever she would suggest helpful things, like covering up those legs. It would take a long time to realize that my "friend" was full of utter crap. And even if I was imperfect, I had working parts, and that's all that mattered. I was just the way I supposed to be.

So now, I embrace my legs. Though every once in a while I'll wonder if that girl's taunts were true (chicken stick legs, gee thanks), if they were, it doesn't matter. These legs have helped me walk for miles, run for fun, kick for defense, dance like a dervish, swim in the wondrous sea, and make my way towards those I love. And that is why I dress them to their best. And I think they look pretty darned cute, too.

Outfit details:
Cardigan: Old Navy, $3.50
Dress: Fleamarket, $00.50
Belt: garage sale, $00.25
Shoes: BCBG outlet, $29.00

Join in on the self-love fun!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Wedding in Cape May

A long overdue post on our weekend at Cape May...

Damián and I flew over to the States to attend Zeynep and Ed's wedding. Zeynep and I have known each other for years, and I was thrilled to go their wedding. I was also thrilled to get away for the weekend. Sneaking off every once in a while does wonders for you!

We were only there for three days, but I think we did plenty for such a short time. The wedding, a visit to Atlantic City, meeting alpacas, and having some great lox on a bagel were just some of the highlights. To respect my friend's privacy, I won't be showing any pictures of the ceremony here. :) But I'll show you a bit of the boardwalk and the alpacas!

It was a lovely ceremony, and we wish nothing but the best for the happy couple. :) Thank you for having us over!

(All pictures taken by me. Please do not take or reuse without my permission.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Having a Budget = I Can't Dress Nice?

About a week or two ago, there was a big brouhaha over a post that Gwyneth Paltrow put up on her website, GOOP. It was a feature on her "essentials", and her items (a dress, sandals, cardigan, and bag) totaled around $18,000. Yes, you read right. Granted, she collaborated with Net-a-Porter. While I know that Ms. Paltrow is accustomed to such a lifestyle, it's particularly disheartening to see that the majority of fashion magazines list as essentials things that cost more that a month's salary.

I understand that most magazines are for inspiration, but they still sell the fantasy. I'm not going to lie and say that my wardrobe lacks expensive things. I love Marc Jacobs; I have a couple of his items that get much wear. However, I generally buy them second-hand through eBay or fashion communities where I can guarantee their authenticity and care. But, I'm getting sidetracked. My point is that I don't have money to burn. I like to save so I can travel and create wonderful memories, not dump all my cash on one dress that I would probably rip thanks to my fantastic agility and grace. Really, I've lost count on how many times I've hooked my clothes on grates, fences, doors, and sundry.

What bugs me even more is when fashion magazines make so-called "budget" features that have items that are well over a hundred dollars. I'm sorry, but I cannot afford to toss around that much money for jeans, much less a t-shirt. What with my bad knees, right foot, and back, I am forced to invest in good shoes that provide proper support, but even then, I make an effort to find said shoe at the lowest price. My most recent expensive buy was a BCBG dress for a friend's wedding. It is beautiful, and I love it to bits. But I cried as I handed over the credit card.

It was only $130.

Call me a miser, a cheapy, a Scrooge, but I'd rather put my money where it counts. Good jewelry that will become family heirlooms, travel, presents for my family and loved ones, money for animal charities, or crafting materials, I'd rather save for that. Whenever I buy something, I figure out the cost per wear and make damn sure that it's worth it, because otherwise, it's sitting in the closet. Doing nothing. Except maybe mocking me.

If I don't buy thrifted or make my own, most of my clothes come from regular stores like Old Navy, Gap, Ann Taylor, and Zara. Kmart and Walmart figure in frequently. I used to shop at Forever 21, but after reading up more on the company's practices, I haven't really stepped foot into the store in around 6 months. If I want something fancy, I go to eBay or the fashion selling groups. And I usually buy at the outlets. Sure, I have a Marc Jacobs, but it was bought on eBay with a steep discount.

Getting back on track, I think that my biggest gripe with the whole thing is how it affects consumers. I feel that magazines, media, everything that is shopping related, send the message that if you do not buy pricey items, then you are not fashionable. That in price point, there is class and quality. That you have class and quality. And I do not appreciate that. I do not want to be held in contempt for wearing something second hand or from an everyday store. I am not my jeans, my top, or my shoes. Clothing doesn't define me, it is simply an accessory that I use to express myself.

What do you think? Do you think magazines should tone it down and present more accessible options? Or are they just fine as is?

I want to hear what you think!