{Giveaway} high intensity

24.11.14

marykay sport
For the exception of baseball, my son has been in just about every sport you can think of. I think that’s the only way for a kid to find what they love – expose them to many different things to see what sticks. I wasn’t all for tackle football, but I let him try that too. I think my biggest act of love was sitting through 90 degree weather (thanks, LA!), four times a week for 3 hours a pop to watch him practice. So not my sport but my son is a die-hard football and Eagles fan (he wants me to add that he loves LeSean McCoy). But he soon learned that playing it was an entirely different thing. If it were up to me, he would be doing track or soccer but it was not his passion (neither was guitar, piano, dancing, water polo and all the things parents sign their kids up for). But this year, he tried out for wrestling and he loves it. There’s definitely a brotherhood between his coach and the team that he will remember forever. He heads over to practice every evening after homework and tutoring. Like I said, there’s much to do this semester, as he continues to get acclimated to the high school pace.
marykaysport
High School isn’t just all grades and sports … It’s chock-full of friends and girls too. There are days he leaves here with more cologne on than a club in mid-town Manhattan. He also thinks about his appearance, and asks me to help him do his hair in the morning (because it needs to be very Henry Cavill), schedule his barber shop appointments and help him figure out which skin care products are the best for him. And of course there are days where he’s like “meh, who cares.” But I’m definitely starting to see a lot more self-care habits these days.
marykaysport2
Mary Kay sent me their latest product MK High Intensity Sport Cologne which, according to my son, smells delicious. It has a very fresh and invigorating scent with hints of crushed mint leaf, violet pepper, wild birch bark and amber. He’s right – It really does smell delicious. I would love for you to try too along with a few other Mary Kay Men products.
mary kay men
Giveaway: In the comments section, tell me why this set would be prefect for the special guy in your life this holiday season. One lucky reader will receive a Mary Kay Men Face Bar, the Advanced Facial Hydrator Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Advanced Eye Cream, Shave Foam, Cooling After-Shave Gel and the MK High Intensity Sport Cologne. The winner will be randomly chosen through Random.org. The giveaway ends Monday, December 1st at 9am PST. The winner will receive an email in addition to me announcing it here on the blog. The winner must respond within 48 hours otherwise another winner be chosen. US only. Good luck!

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The long sweater

17.11.14

longsweater_theartmuse
urbanoutfittershat
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I’ve been wearing this long cardigan from Re:named over and over for the last few weeks. Between work, events and school meetings, this has been perfect for every thing on my schedule. The length is a great combination of cozy and dramatic all in one. I wore it over a simple outfit with heels for the Tylenol lunch I attended with friends/bloggers at Bouchon Bistro. It was for an initiative called #SmilingItFoward – If you send a picture of your child smiling post-sick – You know that smile! The one that says “I feel better, mom” and confirms everything is going to be OK - $1 will be donated to the Children’s Health Fund to help ensure doctor visits for those in need. I seriously love being a part of these kind of programs that encourage families to share their stories and help those who need it – especially when it comes to doctor costs. We were invited to help share the information and encourage other moms to upload their pictures and help spread the word about CHF. I also wore my comfy sweater to a mom.me soirée – Another platform that encourages mom to share their tips, stories and gems of wisdom (with Latina flavor). I write for them and do a bit of social media (latinamom.me) on their Facebook page. It’s finally chilly here in LA but not quite coat weather so this look worked our perfectly for all I need to do.

If you want pure comfort and style for any of your upcoming events, a long cardigan is a great piece to have in your closet. I also suggest bringing up the look with a panama hat (love this one) and boots (dare to go over the knee?). I hope you’re having a fantastic week!

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LAIAI

07.11.14

doris duke hand mirro
Right after 9/11, a friend of mine and I curated a show that focused on the stereotypes of Islamic cultures by featuring artists/photographers/film makers whose work represented the larger discussions that were taking place during the time. Our show “Body” had a very successful turnout with artists who taught us so much about the misconceptions of Islamic cultures. Although New York/New Jersey is a “melting pot”, there is much segregation and stereotyping within the local communities themselves (even if they look diverse on the outside). Fortunately, I was in the museum field at the time, so the conversations taking place around me (Shirin Neshat being my biggest eye opener) were void of sensationalism – Unlike today’s social media world (the field I am currently in). I have to sift through memes and misinformation on Facebook just to see Neshat’s updates, which just goes to show the state of conversations today and how quickly misinformation can spread. As an art historian, a witness to how art can redirect/shape dialogues and a strong believer that knowledge gives birth to empowerment, I want to share this extraordinary museum initiative called LA / Islam Arts.
la islam arts
Underscoring Los Angeles’s role as one of the epicenters of visual constructions regarding Islam and the Middle East, through architecture, film and its large Middle Eastern and Islamic populations, LA/Islam Arts Initiative will take over Los Angeles from October-December with a series of events including video installations, scholarly symposia, films, concerts, performances, and more. If you live in LA, I strongly encourage being a part of this much-needed museum conversation. The first of these shows are Doris Duke’s Shangri La and Shangri La: Imagined Cities, which are currently on view at Barnsdall. Both shows anchor this highly anticipated initiative and provides a collective overview of contemporary works that produce a multiplicity of worlds, interpretations, and investigations without ignoring the implications of organizing around particular geographic or religious lines. If you want to see the schedule of events, visit LA Islam Arts for more info!

(Doris Duke Earrings and Hand Mirror)

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autumn leaves

02.11.14

trench coat fall
About a year ago, I started to feel TMJD creep in but wasn’t sure what was happening to me – pain, vertigo and basically an assault on my central nervous system. My ability to deal with day to day things started dwindling as the pinched nerves and flight or fight response turned my life completely upside down. It’s hard to believe that your jaw muscles can cause so much havoc but, believe me, they can. However, can you believe that this “flare-up”, as much I didn’t feel it at the time, is the best that happened to me? One day, I will jot down all the reasons why … But I will share that the woman standing in this picture feels incredibly strong (with a new definition of strength), happy and incredibly blessed to have the family and friends that I have. Sometimes it takes a debilitating illness/disorder to truly break you so the light can come in. I still have symptoms but my perception and the healthier road I embarked on has opened up the world for me in ways I never imagined.
trench coat fall
A light that came through was the commitment and love that I received during a time when I was likely not the easiest (head splitting migraines that shoot through your eye will not make you pleasant, my friends). The obvious was my mom, who talked to me several times a day to reassure me that I will be OK. But the biggest gift I received was from my guy. I’ve never – ever – felt that type of care from a man. Ever. It was the kind you dream about but are convinced does not exist. I’m not talking grand, bells and whistles gestures either. I’m talking simple things – the kind that family does for you when you are not well. Pure unconditional love. Had I not been ill, I don’t think I would have taken it in the way I did. I had to trust. I was forced to let my guard down. There were so many days/nights he just sat with me and held my hand, walked me through the pain, meditated with me, made food I could chew, called to check in all the time and just simply watched over me. He was consistent and patient. When I could not do much, he held the house down, which was so important because I’m sure it wasn’t easy for my son to see me in pain and not truly understand what was happening. In so many ways, the whole experience was a huge blessing and I now deeply recognize why this needed to happen. When I was at my worst, I kept asking God to please show me what He wanted me to see from all this. I see it now, and the way I feel today is only the beginning. And to keep the promise that he will always be by my side, I got a beautiful engagement ring. It’s wonderful have, it really is … But he already delivered his in sickness and in health promise.
trench coat fall
So here I am in my staple pencil skirt and a classic trench feeling wonderful after a weekend of Day of the Dead activities at Museum of Latina American Art and a bit of Ann Taylor shopping. I cannot get enough of their purses – Always chic with a great price range for those of us who love lots of options. And with all my experiences this past year, I just find the biggest joys in simple things like a great coat and a beautiful clutch. It was the perfect Fall weekend as we celebrated the death and life of those we love as well as the symbolic deaths that give us new life.
trench coat fall
(H&M trench coat , Marciano Brea Pont Cutout Crop Top, Bebe Bodycon Midi Skirt, Steve Madden leopard pumps, Ann Taylor Pebbled Signature Crossbody Bag)

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{Giveaway} Better together

29.10.14

This post is in collaboration with Nescafé with Coffee-mate. Story and opinions are my own.
Nescafé with Coffee-mate
There are two things that I need to get me going in the day – Coffee and Art. If I don’t drink my morning cafecito, I feel like I’ve missed something. It’s been a ritual of mine since I was about … 22 years old. I started a job in Wall Street (while working on my art teacher credentials) and wanted to partake in the morning coffee talk with employees so I grabbed a cup of coffee, and played grown up with everyone. I was right out of art school, and had never done the corporate thing. Needless to say, I never did fit in, but I’m thankful for that experience because I used it toward the art history career a later embarked on. It taught me about the importance of daily rituals and routine. I took my coffee habit with me all through the museum world and now as a content creator. It was especially a much needed pick me up during grad school and those long nights studying. To this day, there is nothing like sitting down with one of my art books and a warm cup to set the tone for perfect Sunday afternoon.
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I’m a big fan of flavored coffee especially during the holiday season. For some reason, I start craving flavors like Vanilla and Hazelnut. I was sent a few Nescafé with Coffee-mate products to try, and I really love the taste. My personal fav is their French Vanilla creamer to go with my French art books. OK, totally not planned but as I’ve said before, I have a thing for the French.
Nescafé with Coffee-mate
If you want to have your own book and cafecito experience, I’m giving away a two week supply of Nescafé with Coffee-mate Creamers for one lucky reader. All you need to do is tell me in the comments section below what you think is the perfect pairing – Ingredients, a beverage, a snack – Whatever it is, tell us what you think goes better together?
nescafe products
The winner will be randomly chosen through Random.org. The giveaway ends Tues, November 4th at 9am PST. By November 5th, the winner will receive an email in addition to me announcing it here on the blog. The winner must respond within 48 hours otherwise another winner be chosen. US only. Good luck!

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LINE Hotel

28.10.14

line hotel
Remember that POT restaurant post? The one with the amazing Korean dishes like BBQ Galbi and Kimchi fried rice? Well, that restaurant is located at the LINE Hotel, where the We All Grow Summit (W.A.G) is going to take place (I write all about the summit here). We’re very excited to have this conference at the LINE in Koreatown. It’s so important for us to show the different cultures of LA. The ones you don’t see on TV and hear about in music. When I first moved here, it was either the west side or the valley … and nothing in between. That is, until I started going to art shows around the city, which gave me a whole new perspective about this new place I call home.
line hotel
The LINE is perfect for W.A.G. From the Sydell Group, Roy Choi, Houston Brothers, Sean Knibb and Poketo, the hotel defines collaboration and vision. Latina Bloggers Connect was founded on that principal – Community. Together, we support bloggers and brands in building authentic collaborations. When the two meet, lots of magic happens – stories are shared and long-term relationships are developed. And like LBC, the LINE is loud and proud about its cultural pride, diversity and roots. Every where you turn, you will be reminded of the area’s many cultures and urban subcultures illustrated by the strategically placed religious candelas, bowls of fruit, lollipop roses, tamarind sticks, stickers and bodega bowls of candy placed around the bar.
the line hotel
Then there are the outdoor areas like the Commissary, which is a greenhouse focused on fruits and vegetables and homage to all the people and families in Southern California who work on farms to bring food to the table. What’s there not to love about that?
line hotel
Aaaah, the accommodations. These beautifully designed concrete rooms have a fantastic view of the Hollywood Hills and city sky line. With desks as headboards (which is an awesome use of space), it’s perfect for those, like us, who need our laptops to pay the bills. I’ve spent many nights during travel on the computer in an uncomfortable chair. I really like how you can face the sunshine while you get that to-do list done. Also, note the upholstered chair in a vintage Mexican serape. Another added touch that celebrates the cultures of the community.
line hotel
You’ve probably seen this picture before. It was shot during my first visit to the LINE when Ana introduced me to the space to check out all the cool things W.A.G. guests will be a part of. This random picture is actually one of my favs, as it features art (Curtis Jere Birds In Flight) and my work (which also takes place on my phone)
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Too bad the conference takes place in February or you would have found me by the pool the whole time. Surrounded by citrus trees, flowers and the Commissary, this might be may favorite spot in the entire hotel. The jury is still out on that one. I will need to test this out during warmer seasons.
line hotel
And, finally, here’s part of the WAG and LBC team taking it all in by doing something we rarely do – Relax. Like I said, we’re excited (nervous, anxious) for the launch of this summit. Moreso, the opportunity to unite with old friends, colleagues and meet new talent and future partners. Great hotel for this kind of reunion. If you want more info, check out the LINE hotel site. Until the next post!
line hotel

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naked and earthy

21.10.14

thanksgiving makeup
Leave it to me to come up with a look that will make my Thanksgiving feasting convenient. I focus on the eyes so if my lip color fades (yes, from eating), I will still look put together. I wear lose fitting clothes as opposed to my staple pencil skirt because I am usually cooking something (and because comfort) so I wear an outfit that can go from the kitchen to the table like this patterned jumpsuit.
lorealurbadecay
I was sent a few goodies from Urban Decay and L’Oreal Paris that was perfect for an all-natural Fall look for Thanksgiving. And when I say Thanksgiving, I’m not talking about a huge Rockwellian dinner. Not everyone has that. This look is for anyone who likes a delicate all-natural look this time of year and looking for a more earth-tone palette for their upcoming plans. Whether you’re spending it alone, with family (large/small), with friends, on Skype (I’ve had those) or not doing the hype at all … You won’t regret dolling up to celebrate the blessings we have around us. To get your look started, make sure you exfoliate and moisturize to prepare your face for the awesome foundation that is L’Oreal Paris’s Visible Lift Blur. It feels like silk. Oh, and you will also love Urban Decay’s Naked Illuminated powder but more on that in bit.
thanksgiving makeup
Like I said, I plan on cooking and eating so I want my makeup to be natural with a bit more emphasis on the eyes. The Urban Decay Naked2 Basics eyeshadow palette is perfect for this. Two or three colors are fine for creating a complete look or you can go shadow-happy like I did. There are so many pretty colors to play with, you really cannot go wrong. I did a lot of combining and blending starting with the lighter shade (Skimp) on the brow bone and the inner corners of my eyes. I combined the second and third shade (Stark and Frisk) and applied it on my eye lids. This first step already drastically brightens up your eyes (you can see the steps in this tutorial). I used the fourth color (Cover) and started blending from the middle of my lid to the end of my eye and created a cat look effect. I used the 5th color (Primal) to blend Cover throughout the crease of my eye. I used the Skimp color again and slightly dabbed it onto the center of my eye lid to create the illusion of light and depth (something I’ve always done in my portraits). The final touch was the darkest color (Undone). I used this to darken the edges. I lined my eyes with Chanel’s Eye liner duo powder and used L’Oreal’s Voluminous Miss Manga. All you need to do next is apply L’Oreal Paris’s Visible Lift Blur Blush and their Tender Me Mauve lip color. Since your dinner is probably burning by now, set your makeup with that Naked Illuminated by Urban Decay I mentioned above. I love it, love it. And if you’re doing a candle-lit dinner for two … Your skin will look amazing.
naked2 basics urban decay
If you want a bit more drama (your personal style is the only drama that is acceptable during the holidays), try Urban Decay’s Fast, Easy and Sexy partial false lashes (Yay! No more trimming). These may have convinced me to wear false lashes more often. I just don’t like the fuss of applying them and the shadow I see when they’re on (I really just can’t ignore that they’re there). But half lash? Simple to apply? Now, we’re talking.
thanksgiving makeup
Hope you’re all having an amazing week!

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An Opening of the Field

20.10.14

pasadena museum of california art theartmuse
An Opening of the Field is an exhibition featuring the artists Jess, Robert Duncan and their circle. That alone is fantastic as far as my “I love collaborations” mind goes. This is the first exhibition to focus on the artistic production and relationship between the artists and their friends. It makes me wonder what kind of show my friends and I would have. I would love to see what kind of brilliant exhibit curators Christopher Wagstaff and Michael Duncan would put together. What they would do with forensic scientists, writers, photographers and bloggers remains to be unknown but An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle, has already been honored by the International Associations of Art Critics-United States with an award in Excellence in Art Criticism and Curatorial Achievement for Best Thematic Show Nationally (Currently on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art).
pasadena museum of california art
Jess and Robert Duncan were one of the most captivating artistic couples of the 20th century. The artists shared a romantic and professional partnership that can be seen in many of their pieces. The mutual appreciation for mythologies, transformative narrative and the appropriation of image is evident in Jess’s paintings and Duncan’s colorful abstract drawings.
pasadena museum of california art
The exhibition also includes works by members of their circle – R. B. Kitaj, Edward Corbett, Wallace Berman, Lawrence Jordan, George Herms, Jack Spicer, Robin Blaser, and Michael McClure. I mean, that’s a quite a group of friends. Makes me think of the saying my grandfather used to tell me dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres. The show alone is a remarkable collection of people inspired by one another.
pasadena museum of california art theartmuse
You can learn more about Jess and Robert Ducan at PMCA. The show is on view at the Pasadena Museum of Art until January 11, 2015 before traveling to the Katzen Arts Center at American University. If you’re nowhere near, you can grab yourself a beautiful catalogue.

Thank you PMCA for the images.

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