Honest

21.05.15

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OK, Target. We get it. You are awesome. Your store, your products and your partays. This is my second Target event (last year’s Target Beauty luncheon was just as lovely), and they just don’t disappoint when it comes to details and location. The space was intimate, cozy and filled with succulent flowers, delicious healthy meals, refreshing drinks and awesome company …
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Meet Joy and Jessica – Two amazing women who bring lively design and wonderful products to Target. You can really see how much they love what they do, and how hands-on they are with their brands. I actually caught Ms. Alba rearranging products a few times and making sure everything looked its best. But no matter where everything was, you can’t wrong with her company’s packaging. The products are designed to add to the beauty of your home decor (unlike like most cleaning products you want to hide in your sink). The bottles are rich with color, modern floral details and multi-cultural inspirations.
honest at target
honest at target
I can’t say that I was too familiar with Honest products, and saw them more as a company for baby products. I had no idea there were so many green cleaning products to choose from – And they work. Come on, you know that some eco-friendly products can be a bit too mild and don’t always do the job. I haven’t experienced that with Honest’s Liquid Dish Soaps at all.
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As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am obsessed with the Lavender Vanilla Air Freshener. I have two cats and a house that gets filled with teen boys, so air freshener is a necessary item.
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This event inspired me to head back to Target to get a few more things from this brand because I personally like buying products who pride themselves on integrity and authenticity. If you haven’t been shopping Honest, check them out at Target!

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Ruched

17.05.15

flowytopLola & Sophie top similar, Zara leggings, Steve Madden heels, Michael Kors satchel

Hello, muses! I hope you had a lovely weekend. After signing off on Friday, I went to the Healthy, Happy Vegan Kitchen book signing in Venice and met up with my good friend Maura. The event was hosted by Blogger Babes (a network designed to help women bloggers transform their hobby of writing into a career) so I really wanted to make it out, as we just partnered with them at work by offering must-have e-kits for bloggers who want to take their business to the next level. Heck, I work in the industry and learned a few tricks I should really start incorporating on this here blog. I was also curious about the recipe book and its author Katya Patalsky, who apparently shot the whole book in 60 days! (Warning: before you click on her site, make sure you have a full belly). I would love to make these apple spice peanut butter oatmeal bars for my son and his friends. I had a house full of teens all weekend long, and I’m sure these would be a hit.
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In between my son’s movie, video game and social calendar, I asked him to come with me to Highland Park for lunch, dessert, an art gallery viewing and … to just hang out with me. He’s not really into art galleries and museums, but he came along and we had a lovely afternoon checking out the new boutiques and cafes in the area. I found a really sweet shop called Social Study. It’s where I bought this comfortable and chic Lola & Sophie top. I was hesitant at first because I really do not like ruching at all. In its attempt to hide certain things with fabric, I think it actually achieves the opposite effect. But I gave this one a try because I loved the asymmetrical drape. To my surprise, the ruching on this top actually worked pretty well for my body type. It cradles the curves and adds the right amount of sexy for those us who have a little more hip. I didn’t want to take away from the details so I kept the rest of the simple with my favorite black leggings and strappy heels.

It was a weekend of exploring, friendships and quality time. A perfect way to start a very full week ahead. We have two Twitter Parties coming up this week – One with Neutrogena and the other with Dove. Lots of skin care and hair love talk mixed in with prizes and new social media friends. Join us! 

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Untitled

15.05.15

strengthie-theartmuseHello, muses! How are you all doing? I decided to bring back my Week in Pictures series since there are so many fun/great moments that I capture in between blog posts that I would love to share with you all. Except I no longer wanted to call it that. The series never really summed up a week, and I felt it was just too limiting of a name. After much thinking (and over-thinking) I did what any normal art brain would do – Call it Untitled. It’s the best no-name to describe a weekly series of pics, summaries and musings that really do not encompass one solid topic. That, and I’m a nerd who likes to use art references.
Moving along.

This week, my friend, boss, soul sister Ana headed to Africa with One – an international campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. Can I just tell you all how proud I am of her? I’ve been working with her since 2010 so it’s pretty amazing to see her journey from behind the scenes. As someone who knows her, I can tell you she’s the real deal. A few days ago, she sent over some information about One #WithStrongGirls campaign and asked me to get the team coordinated to post a #strengthie on our social media channels. Because really, who doesn’t want to be Rosie the Riveter for at least one day. And who doesn’t want to be part of such an amazing global cause. If you would like to get involved, head over to One and take action. picasso1 Speaking of empowerment, determination and goals – it’s been a pretty productive week on the home front. I’m not flying across the globe or anything … but my health is getting better and I’m feeling stronger each day. I finally started getting my home office in enough order to start the decoration process I wasn’t able to finish when my health declined over a year ago. In going through shelves and boxes, I ran into one of my favorite books – Picasso Black and White. The book illustrates the first exhibition at the Guggenheim, and ever, to explore the use of black and white throughout the artist’s prolific career. I did get to see the exhibition during a visit to NYC, and just needed to have the book. It was delivered to me by surprise when my fiancé was still living in Florida. As a huge proponent of the less is more philosophy, the simple (yet complex) juxtaposition of line, form, monochromatic tones creating an illusion of sculpture just blew me away. Needless to say, this book needed to be part of my art book collection. Nothing like the smell of a hard cover book to make me feel like I’m back to life again. chanel To make sure I feel my best while my body heals, my fiancé likes to do little things like leave a beautifully wrapped bottle of perfume on my pillow before bedtime. Actually, I’ve had this delicious Coco Mademoiselle since February. It was given to me the day before the #WeAllGrow Summit as a ‘welcome back’ gift when he saw that I was actually starting to gain back an interest in all things girly (including pretty lingerie). honest target
I recently attended a lovely event hosted by Target and Jessica Alba in celebration of her Honest Co. line. I am still testing out the products and can’t wait to share with you all … But I can tell you now that I’m in love with the Honest Air Fabric Freshener Spray in Lavender Vanilla Scent. More on that coming soon!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! If you’d like to say hello around the net, check out my latest posts on Latinamom – A tribute to my mom (who is also an awesome abuela) and a funny dedication to LeJuan James. And would you like to join me at a Twitter Party next week? We’re part of a fun tweet-a-thon with Neutrogena on Tuesday, May 19th at 4pm PT. We will be talking about choosing skin health over tanning out in the sun. Join us! I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I have a few fun things planned. You can follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (where the shenanigans happen) at @theArtMuse. See you back on the blog next week. xoxo

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Reinventing yourself

11.05.15

andrea-catalogWorking from home, launching my own brand and being a large part of an all female start up company has been the best decision I have ever made. It was also the hardest. When my son’s father and I divorced several years ago, I received 3 1/2 years worth of a humble but very helpful alimony cushion, which was enough to help me decide how I wanted to rebuild my life (in a new state far from family with a little boy in tow). I could have gone back to museum work full-time (I had been freelancing for several years) or I could just switch it up and take new risks that would allow me the flexibility I felt I needed and wanted as a mother. Sounds awesomely ideal, no? But that is what I chose and I was determined to make that work. I was adamant about using this period in my life to work my butt off and try new creative outlets within the arts. Being part of the first wives club was synonymous to living in a fish bowl with a circle naysayers scrutinizing your every move as a woman and mother as you work toward building a new life (not the same for men, eh?). The less my choices made sense to them, the more I knew I was in the right direction. I used that time to take chances, carve a new path and piss people off – new career, new life, new friends, new me. myandreastyle andrea catalog Fast forward to today, I’m working full-time from home (in the process of decorating my office), I attend all my son’s school functions/meetings/appointments and am available to make his friends after school snacks when they come over – exactly the life I visualized for myself and my son. And although it’s a lot of work and it took several years, my son saw first hand what it takes to start over and build a new life – the failures, the triumphs. An experience that I hope he carries with him when life takes a different turn than expected.

To be honest, sharing these details is not easy for me because, even though I work online, I keep much of these things to myself. But one thing I’ve also learned in this journey is that I am not alone, and neither are you. There are so many women and mothers out there who are trying to find ways to write new chapters for themselves. Believe me, I get it and if my story can shed some light and inspire .. Then it’s worth it to put myself out there by sharing my path, my truth. Re-invention, rebuilding, starting over … is a lot of work but so worth it when you realize what you envision for yourself. There’s nothing more empowering than getting up in the morning and walking into my office with a cup of coffee in hand ready to start the day doing something I love.
andrea catalog As I mentioned in this post, ANDREA is a company that helps to empower women by supporting their dreams of starting their own business. Whether large or small, you can work from home and make an income for yourself. They’re one of our clients, and I can assure you they’re a great group of people to work with – Very helpful if you decide you would like to become an affiliate (selling shoes, clothes, lingerie). You can become an affiliate by either signing up online, at a store or by phone. Once you’re part of the family, you can purchase ANDREA products at a discounted rate for yourself and/or make a profit. If you’re looking to start a new path or just bring in some extra cash flow, check them out. Whatever you choose, I wish you tons of luck and success in pursuing your dreams, goals and life’s purpose.

This is compensated collaboration between ANDREA and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

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{Giveaway} Mother’s Day fragrance and shadow

09.05.15

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Happy Mother’s Day weekend! I would love to give one of my beautiful mom readers a gift! Would you like a super sexy eye shadow palette and a romantic fragrance? I want to send one lucky winner CIRCA’s Color Focus Eyeshadow Palettes in Provocateur and Visionary for a jewel colored smokey look (valued at $12 each. The palettes come with three beautiful shades and a variety of finishes (shimmering, matte and satin), which can also be applied wet for increased shine and intensity. But no makeup look is complete without a delicious fragrance. Ralph Lauren’s Midnight Romance atomizer is a must-have (valued at $90). The scent is a sensual embrace of pink peony and black vanilla, and is a perfect fragrance for day or night.
romance ralph lauren
Want to enter the giveaway? In the comment section below I want you to pay YOURSELF a compliment by sharing why you’re a great mom. We never pat ourselves on the back for all that we do. But you need to act fast! The giveaway ends on Mother’s Day 3pm PT, May 10, 2015. 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 will be chosen. US only. The winner will be randomly chosen through Random.org. Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner is Virginia Gudiel! Thank you all for participating!

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Mother’s Day Coral

05.05.15

walking shorts ann taylor
Zara coral top, Ann Taylor walking shorts, necklace and clutch, Steve Madden heels

Although I like a short short once in a while (like this black lace romper), it’s not something I always wear. I usually stick with a mid thigh length like these white shorts from Zara. But walking shorts? Can’t say I ever had a pair. The style just never appealed to me but after seeing them beautifully hung at Ann Taylor, I thought I would give them a try. Can you say com-fort-able? As I said in my gauchos post, that’s pretty much my mantra this summer. I got them in white because I thought they would look lovely with a coral top. I love transitioning from winter reds to spring corals. It’s like the perfect color for this season, and I love the way it looks with yellow accents. In fact, I wore a similar color combo in this coral/pink romper post.

I thought this would be a great idea for a Mother’s Day outfit, as it can be easily transitioned to fit most casual occasions. I’m not sure what our plan is but I’m ready for anything. These walking shorts can be worn with flats or they can be dressed up with heels. You can also wear a sexy top or keep it breezy and simple. It’s important to buy pieces that can be remixed over and over.

walking shorts ann taylor

For my mommy muses, I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day. If you are one of many moms who finds this day difficult – if you’ve lost your mom or if you’re doing the parenting grind alone – know that you are loved and appreciated. Thank YOU for all that you are and all that you do. Treat yourself to something wonderful. Whether it’s a nice long bath or a spa day. Take the time to decompress. We were chosen to embark on this journey by something greater. On my most exhausting days, I remind myself of this. You are amazing. Hugs to you all. Happy Mother’s Day.

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The serious and funny ventures of parenting teens

04.05.15

gappolo
You may have seen this guy on the blog. This is my 15 year old son. My high school freshman. My heart and soul. He’s funny, aloof, loving, loud, quiet, shy, outspoken, reserved. All of it. What is he not? Mean-spirited, disrespectful, aggressive, impulsive. Thank the heavens above I have not had to deal with violence or drugs (times are so crazy now). Has he said a few teen things? Sure. Does he get a little extra sometimes? A lot. Does he dislike school work? Oh goodness, yes. Those are things I can handle. He’s coming into his own. And as the woman in his life, I’ve learned that how I handle his growing pains will influence the kind of man he is becoming. Have I been perfect? Of course not. No matter how great we think we are and the amount of sacrifices we’ve lost count of, we screwed up somewhere. I have many old school Latina parenting views that have left my son confused at times. We’ve had quite a bit of multicultural moments that required a lot of talking, listening, acceptance and understanding. I elaborate more on raising a bicultural child in this article. When it comes to parenting, no matter the twists and turns, we are all learning along the way.

It’s also important to laugh along the way. To make light of the “Latina mom logic”, my son and I watched a ton of Vine parodies about Latino families that had us in tears with laughter. I recently wrote 5 things that LeJuan James taught my son about his mom because the videos pretty much sums what goes down in this household. I’ll admit that I was elated to see that he kind of got it once he saw these vines. Mom’s view points are actually lot more common than he thought and not as illogical as perhaps he’s been told by those who have no idea what a chancla is.
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Gap Pique Polo and Lived In Khakis, Puma Suede Classics

Like I said in this article – Raising a teen is harder than it looks – It’s a delicate journey that requires a lot of patience and listening. Times are a lot different than when I was a kid. On one hand, the universe is going through a spiritual shift. On the other, conflict in our country is on the rise. If you’re not talking to your teens enough, now is the time to start. Even if they don’t appear to be listening. It’s a matter of just showing up and letting them know you’re there – no matter your parenting style. This applies to all cultures and walks of life. But most of all, have fun with it. I find that my son and I bond the most when we’re watching silly shows, eating a sub and poking fun at one another once in a while.

P.S. I can’t believe this what just two years ago. Time flies.

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The Fear Cure

01.05.15

thefearcure lissarankin
It was March 2014. I was lying in bed in pain, feeling lethargic and scared when I stumbled upon Lissa Rankin’s Ted Talk – The Shocking Truth About Your Health. I knew my issues stemmed from an untreated TMJ disorder, but I had no idea it would change my life in this way. I had been through this before, but it was no where near as severe. I had no idea that this disorder could affect the neurological functions of the body. I didn’t know that chronic pain could cause the body to go into flight or fight. My cranial bones had shifted causing vision problems and stabbing pain. I developed every symptom this disorder could dish out, and I felt completely helpless. I had a full-time job, a son to raise and had just embarked on a whole new level in my relationship. No one knew how to help me or even understood how debilitating this was. To many, TMJ is more than just a sore jaw or clicking. It can be a full body, central nervous system standoff. After Lissa’s talk, I realized that I could keep curing symptoms or I can get to the root of my issue. In my case, it was chronic stress. Growing up, stress was normal. And to some extent, it is. But when it becomes your coping mechanism because of worries and fears, there’s a problem.

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