For the occasions when you leave for the day and have to go straight to an evening event. This outfit is a great option! I paired this classic black dress with a jean jacket and nude fringe booties. I added a red lip stain to my lips to make the outfit pop! You can make it a night look by simply taking off the jean jacket.
My fitness journey began when I joined Zumba class at the local gym in summer of 2011. The class was cardio combined with music, I loved it! After a few months, I decided to become a member at the gym and finally focus on building and developing my muscles. It was overwhelming at first I felt scared, intimidated, lost, confused but I also felt excited about the new challenges. I was also afraid of my body transforming and looking more masculine rather than feminine. I was embarrassed and insecure about my performance at the gym. I felt alone and I did not want to ask for help. I was determined to overcome my doubts and fears so that I could prove myself wrong. I said to myself “I got this” and never looked backed.
First, I used social media to my advantage. I began by following fitness pages to educate myself on how to properly perform the exercises. The next few months I worked out religiously but was not seeing drastic results. I had become discouraged. I was at this point a moderated- nonaggressive trainee. What was I doing wrong? I believed that I was able to exercise a bad diet away. I ate whatever, however much and whenever I wanted. It had not occurred to me that this approach to food was unhealthy, I thought working out was enough. My unhealthy eating habits were having a negative effect on my body, even after working out religiously. I knew I had to make more changes.
In spring of 2014, my life changed completely. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and I immediately began to study the many causes of the disease. I quickly learned that a healthy diet is crucial to our health. Not only the foods we intake but how they’re grown can affect and cause many of the illnesses we face in America. I changed my diet. I switched to organic fruits, vegetables, and meats. I wish I would have adapted the 80% nutrition and 20% exercise concept from the beginning of my fitness journey. While I still haven’t achieved my goal, I’m still much closer than a few years ago. Now I still love food, but seeing and feeling the transformation in my health and body is what continues to motivate me on a daily basis. I am always working harder to make healthier decisions than I did yesterday. I’m loving life and enjoying every aspect of it. I have been blessed to continue this beautiful journey of life with my mother by my side and the rest of my family. Blog Author: Vanessa
Last year for new years eve, my friends and I got together for a vision board party. It was my first time ever doing a vision board. My friend encouraged me to do one, as she has done them in prior years.
Let me start off by telling you what a vision board is. It is literally a board with goals written all over it. You can get as creative as you want with your boards.What you will need: A whiteboard, sharpies, magazines, glue, and scissors. This past year, I got more creative. I bought glitter pens and ribbons.
We talked about our past year as we prepared for the new year. Then, we write down goals for the new upcoming year. We started a tradition! Making the actual vision boards is exciting,. BUT, that really isn’t even the most exciting part. It’s writing down your goals that make it all worth it.
Now, why do I believe in a vision board? Well, I could go on for days on how having a positive mind is extremely important. The truth is…. as much as I talk about positivity.I also get down at times. I just feel like giving up on my goals. I get impatient when I don’t see results. I loose faith and my positive mind soon diminish. Let me tell you that all that is okay. That is why having a visual reminder is very important. Believing those words will come into action by visualizing those goals. Now, you will need to write down MEASURABLE goals. My goals are a mixture of health, finances, family and growth. Overall, I want to become a well- rounded person.
As I write goals down, I think deeply of what those goals will mean to the value of my life. Once the vision board is done, you will need to hang it somewhere you can see it. I don’t look at it every day, but occasionally I will check my progress. Then, I meet with my friend for the half-year mark. We go through our goals and see where our progress is. Also, I write down the goals in my agenda to make them more tangible. The goal is to keep track of your progress. You can’t just write, “ Be thinner”, with no action to achieve that goal. Set your goals and put them into action! I encourage you to try to do a vision board or write out your goals and put them somewhere you can see them. At the end of the year, go through your vision board as you prepare for a new year. Don’t worry if you didn’t complete some of your goals. That is not the point! The point is to have fun with your goals in life and try to accomplish them. One step at a time. We need little reminders to keep growing and evolving to the person we hope to become. I have had a lot of success with my vision board. I know you will too!
I will be attending my tenth year high school reunion this weekend. I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I graduated! Time does fly by. In honor of this occasion, I want to share 10 things I learned since graduating high school. (In no particular order)
Networking. I was social in high school, but I didn’t make a connection with my teachers. I wished I had. In life, it is who you know and what you know. You never know when a person you meet can change your world. Meet people, talk to strangers, go to network events, join LinkedIn, attend free workshops, go to a group of an interest, join a book club, group chats, and forums. Meet people and actually listen to them. You never know when that connection may come in handy!
Finances. High School does not teach you about life lessons. One being how to manage money. We need money to survive. I personally haven’t had an interest in finances until the past couple of years. With many resources at our fingertips, read about your credit score. Learn how to budget. Put money in your savings account. Learn how to invest. Pay off debt! Read financial books, google finance terms, use a credit score website tool, read thoroughly on a credit card your applying for.
College is just the first step to adulthood– College is nothing like high school. In high school, if you showed up, you usually passed the course. The first step is deciding a major. That still boggles my mind. How we are expected at eighteen to make a decision of what major we want to focus and graduate with? Concentrating on a special skill can change what career you want to pursue. I didn’t decide what major I wanted to focus on until late in my college life. I don’t regret it. I tried different courses until I found a course I enjoyed.
Work hard for your dreams. Only we can push ourselves to make our dreams happen. We won’t have teachers or parents pushing us. We are solely responsible for working hard and continuing on our paths. Here is a tip, YOU WILL NEVER GET RICH WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Explore your talents, try different skills, and most importantly don’t give up. In your free time teach yourself skills. Keep working and hustling through. Don’t let haters bring you down. We determine our future.You are solely responsible for your life.
Academics. Don’t stop learning! Even if you don’t continue to a higher education. Read books, blogs, news post, podcast, audio books. If you don’t know something google it. Surround yourself with people you can learn from. Pick up a hobby, mine is coloring. It keeps my mind busy. Don’t let your brain stop working!
High School Social Hierarchy. No one gives a F**K in the real world who you were in high school. If you didn’t have a great high school experience, change that in your adulthood. Those days do not reflect who you are meant to become. Even if you had a great high school reputation, that legacy won’t follow you. We change and grow every year. You won’t be the same person you were yesterday. Keep growing.
Your Body Will Change- We all love those gym class days. “The easy credit”. We play sports and stay active as teenagers. Then we graduate. Depending on our career choices or free time, our body changes. Especially if you have given birth. I was blessed to be thin throughout my childhood. Once I graduated my body has transformed throughout the years. There are years I am more focus than others. Just keep going. Find your fitness motivation or physical preference. Explore, go hiking, go running, join a gym, take classes, do yoga. Not only is it important to stay active but eat healthily. Learn about what you put in your body. As we get older it is harder to lose weight. Start today!
Friendships and Relationships- In high school, we see each other every day. You will probably spend more time with your friends and classmates during those years. As you grow older, life gets in the way. You will have to work harder for friendships. I still have a couple of best friends from high school that I still keep in touch with. Social media has helped to stay in touch with them. The older you get you realize friendships take time, patience, and work. Friendships are a two-way street. Both of you have to put effort into making time for each other. I have been blessed to make connections with people and friends that have truly transformed my life.
Gossiping- Oh good old high school days, when everyone’s secrets and business will go on blast within seconds. “Did you know _ had sex with _.??” Gossip spreads like the flu in high school. Now gossiping is something I have struggled with. Every year, I add “stop gossiping” on my vision board. Gossiping isn’t a total bad thing but it does cause more trouble than its worth. Be careful of what you say about someone. With friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family. One thing you say can truly blow up on your face. Be conscious of your words and who share them with.
Love Yourself- In high school, we are going through weird hormones. We are more self-conscious of who we are. What we wear, what we drive, how we look, and how we think. When you don’t love yourself you can easily fall into depression and abuse. LOVE YOURSELF AND ALL OF YOURSELF. Believe me, once you truly love your body, soul and become your biggest cheerleader your outlook in life is completely different. Now there is a difference between loving yourself and being selfish or conceited and confident. Stay humble and true to yourself!
Overall, I had a good high school experience. I felt the high school was a bubble. Once you get out you realize about the world around you. You learn about real issues and experiences that change your life forever. If you are currently in high school and are being bullied or feel like an outsider, believe me when I say HIGH SCHOOL will pass. Those people who are bullying you will become a far distant memory. High school is just a small fraction of your whole life. Cheers to growing up. Please comment below about what you have learned since high school!
I share with you all a behind the scenes clip on how I prepare for an Instagram-style post. I don’t have a professional camera or photographer. All my photos are taken with a 6S iPhone. My sister is my photographer. All I need is an awesome outfit and to have fun. I am blessed to have support from my family and friends. We all have to start somewhere to make our dreams happen.
The art of failing. You might be thinking to yourself there is no “art” to “failing”. Which is true, you either fail or you succeed. Doesn’t get much clearer than that. The art lies beneath on how you react to your failures. I have failed many times. I have constantly put myself out there and done things that were out of my comfort zone. I want to share one failure that stuck out to me while writing this post. I tried out for a Latin beauty pageant/reality show. At 21 years old, I still had no idea what major I wanted to focus on in college. I finally asked myself what I am good at? I love talking to people. I decided to study and major in communications with the hopes of becoming a television presenter.
At this point, the reality show, Univision’s Nuestra Belleza Latina, had been on the air for about 8 years. I loved that show! It consisted of 12 women, competing in different challenges and obstacles every week. Each week the viewers would vote for their favorite candidate. Whoever had the least amount of votes, would be in the hot seat. There were three judges and they would ultimately be the ones who chose who went home. At the end, the audience would choose between four candidates. Whoever had the most votes, won. The grand prize was a contract with the Univision network, and the opportunity to be part of the network’s talk shows. Univision is still one of the biggest Hispanic networks on air. I really believed this was a great opportunity for my career in television.
I practiced my speech, recorded myself daily, and perfected my Spanish. I got in the best shape I had ever been in. The big day came for auditions. My boyfriend and I flew to Chicago. We sat in the freezing cold outside, overnight for over 7 hours with other hopefuls. When I finally got inside to audition, the process was intimidating. It consisted of presenting yourself, doing a catwalk, and then demonstrating a talent. After I passed the first half, it was time for my talent portion. I froze as all those days of practicing came rushing down to one moment. And I BLEW IT! Let’s just say, I didn’t make it to the second round. I was devastated. All those months of practicing, and in one day it all came crashing down. Although, at that moment and the many days following that I felt down on myself, I became thankful for that opportunity.
Sometimes I take a step forward and then two steps backward. Take this blog, for example, I might not connect with anyone and fail at this. Still, I’m so excited and found a connection with writing. I don’t care if I fail.
What exactly is the art of failing? To me, it’s putting myself out there. After failures happen I do get upset, angry, and depressed. That’s okay, but after I let those stages pass, I look back at those experiences and am grateful for trying. I look at my failures as if they were a learning experience to me. Even though I might not give it a second try. The art is what lies beneath those failures. If I never fail, I wouldn’t ever know what I am capable of. I hope you read this and think back on your failures. Then, take a moment to be thankful for them. Take what you learn and try again or try something different.
Please comment on your experiences with failures and how it changed your perspective.
I always knew my family was different. I am the youngest of four sisters. I started to gain memory when I was about four years old. The biggest childhood memory I have is my father’s alcoholism. My father would drink until he passed out. That wasn’t even the worst part. He would get aggressive when he drank. He picked fights with strangers and his own family. We became his enemies; he was far from my father. I remember hiding in the closet when he would become terrorizing. I hid kitchen knives thinking one day he might just start killing all of us. My childhood was dark, to say the least
I could go and on about how my dad’s alcoholism and his own depression affected my life. I will have to share that with you another day. What I want to share now is how I dealt with it.
From a young age, I always had a smile on my face. I would go to school and literally forget that my home life was so stressful. I would turn it off and turn it back on when I faced reality. It came naturally to me. It wasn’t the best way for me to cope with it. I never spoke to anyone besides my sisters about my home life. For some reason, I was embarrassed, as if my dad’s actions were a reflection of mine. I would tuck it away and put a smile on my face. As I grew older, I found better ways to cope with dark moments.
Here is how I found light in those dark moments:
- Faith- When moments are dark, I tell myself and believe that better days will come.
- Crying- I feel crying is looked at as a sign of weakness or even annoyance to the presence of some people, but crying is the best emotion for me to let those feelings out. I don’t apologize for crying, as it is cathartic.
- Music- Music connects me to another reality and brings those feelings into check. When I’m done crying, I put some tunes on and zone out.
- Praying- I prayed for better days. I spoke to the universe and told it how miserable I felt in that moment. Just saying it aloud made me feel that much better!
- Sleep- Sleeping to me is accepting the dark moments and knowing that it did have an affect on me, so I let my body rest from all the emotions I have felt.
My father didn’t stop drinking all through my childhood. I moved out when I turned eighteen and started a life of my own. It wasn’t until my mother was diagnosed with cancer that my father stopped drinking. I can say now I have a real relationship with my father. Through my childhood, I learned that it’s okay to have dark moments. It is okay to not want to get out of bed. What is not okay is letting those dark days take over my life. Accepting that there will be dark moments, but for those moments there will be twice as many good moments.
This past year, I moved homes and decided to start fresh with decorations and furniture.
I also wanted to do it on a budget. I wanted to create an ambiance of relaxation but also chic. I focused on black, white and blue tones. For those who aren’t professional home decorators, Pinterest is the best tool! Pinterest it is great for ideas. Use it as a guide to resemble what you are looking for. Second, keep receipts! When I would see something in the store and brought it home it wouldn’t look quite as I imagined it.
- Homegoods- Ottoman and blue lamp. The ottoman was the most expensive purchase besides my bed. It was about $200. I bought it to keep my decorative pillows in. Also, it’s a good place for my dog to sleep in.
- Walmart- Decorative pillows, Brooklyn bridge frame, and nightstands.
- Costco- Comforter.
Another place I filled my home full of decorations was Hobby Lobby. It’s best to wait until they have special offers on the weekends.
Also, don’t underestimate facebook marketplace. It’s another great place to buy furniture from.
You can spend a lot of money or do it frugally. I found that starting with an idea of the space I wanted to create made the ball start moving, and then ideas started coming together.
Please comment if you have any questions about buying decor and furniture!
Morning smoothie bowl are great for those mornings when you have extra time.
Step One: Berry Smoothie
1 Cup of almond milk
1 Cup of frozen mix berries
1 Whole banana
1 Spoon of Chia Seeds
2 Spoons of Coconut Oil
Mix it all in your blender with 1 scoop of ice.
Step Two: Smoothie Bowl
1. Add smoothie to the bottom of the bowl.
2. Sprinkle Chia Seeds.
3. Add your choice of fruit (I chose raspberries).
4. Sprinkle granola and almonds mix.
5. Add banana slices.
You can mix or keep each portion separate.
We hear from a young age, “you need to be more confident” or “she is just insecure.” What exactly is confidence? According to Google, confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities”.
The truth is that unless you are confident, you won’t truly know what the word means. To me, confidence means going into an interview and feeling like “I’ve got this”, whether I actually get it or not. I have auditioned for modeling gigs and participated in pageants, and they are the worst because I usually compare myself to the other girls. The reality is that there is always going to be a person who is smarter, more beautiful, and younger than you.
Confidence is being in a relationship with someone and trusting that you are a catch. You are confident enough in yourself and in your relationship that you don’t need to check up on your significant other.
How exactly did I gain confidence? I think it comes with age. My confidence as a 21-year-old is completely different as a 27-year-old. It starts with trying to be the best version of yourself. Waking up every morning and telling myself in front of the mirror, “I am enough. I am great. I’ve got this.” Confidence comes from loving yourself first and being your own biggest cheerleader. Once I truly believed this, I gained confidence.
You wake up five minutes late for work. You spill coffee on your blouse, and then you forget that you have a morning meeting. It seems that everything went wrong from the moment you woke up. The truth is that things happen that are out of our control. However, what we do have control of is how we react to it. We are authors of our own novel. We are the main protagonist. If we believe our day is going to suck from the start, it probably will. Instead, take the time to pause and restart. Take five minutes to recompose yourself. Breathe in and out, and shake your body. Believe that bad energy is leaving your body when you do this. With this approach, you aren’t expecting things to go wrong just because your morning started off wrong. Instead, you think back and realize everything was just an accident. I forgot to put my alarm on, I accidentally spilled my coffee, and that distracted me from the morning meeting.
The power of the mind is one of the strongest tools we have.