Meet ANDREA

24.03.15

andrea1Urban Outfitters surplice tunic and jeans similar

Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity of working from home and I do not take one ounce of it for granted. It’s the best career move and personal life decision I ever made. It can be a bit challenging because it requires an extraordinary amount of self-discipline (my cats purr their invitation to me to nap with them every day. The urge is so real, folks) but that catholic school discipline lives within me slapping my hand with a ruler to keep me focused. The biggest pro has been the flexibility (if needed) that allows for school events, doctor appointments and just simply being around when my son gets home from school. Granted, I end up working at night to make up hours that I may miss throughout the day doing mom things, but it’s worth every second. I can just grab the laptop after dinner and finish up deadlines while my son watches his favorites shows or catches up on homework.

It’s actually becoming quite common to work from home these days, and more and more people are seeking new careers in things they actually love (instead of what they thought they needed to do right after college) like photography, writing, art, beauty and fashion. In fact, my best friend is in a master’s program majoring in fashion after spending twenty years as a forensic scientist. It was always her passion, and I applaud her and anyone out there who is thinking about making a change.
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I really love companies like ANDREA for these reasons. It’s a great company with more than 40 years experience in the fashion market with one goal in mind – launching businesses. For example, if you become an ANDREA affiliate, you can purchase their products (um, hello sexy shoes and lingerie) at a discounted rate for yourself, or turn around and make a profit by selling the products to others.

Of course I would not be writing this post if I did not try the goods out first. I called in to ANDREA and went through the whole process of signing up and ordering boots. It took about ten minutes or so to get everything set up. There were so many shoes to choose from, I decided to stick with classics (but I have a my eye on a few strappies for Spring).

If you’re looking to start a business from home and love fashion, take note of this brand. We actually got to work closely with ANDREA during the We All Grow Summit, as they were also a sponsor. They were definitely a great group to work with.

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

 

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Growing through life

17.03.15

Well, look who resurfaced from the depths of TMJ hell? Last time we left off, I promised to post that red jumper I was wearing along with my bling tatts. Well, that-did-not-happen. Instead, I had a set back (after a routine massage) that gave me an impressive dose of vertigo – for weeks. The holidays were a blast. Nothing like a brightly lit Christmas tree that moves on its own. I finally had to cave in and get a real orthotic, set up chiropractor visits (all about that NUCCA) and physical therapy. With the #WeAllGrow Summit (our company’s inaugural conference) coming up, a full time job and freelance work, I decided to let my blog chill for a bit. I needed to really focus on my treatment. I even recruited my amazingly selfless mother to help me with my son just so that I can focus on keeping my job (these med bills aren’t going to pay themselves) and fixing this jaw. It worked. I am feeling a lot better. But don’t throw confetti just yet. I still have a way to go. However, I’m well enough to finally update my little baby, and share the awesomeness that was the #WeAllGrow Summit at the LINE Hotel. The place where I realized that a set back is actually a good thing. line hotel Let me start by saying that I was extremely nervous about the Summit. After working so hard at Latina Bloggers Connect for four years, the thought of TMJ robbing me from experiencing the joy of seeing where the company is today was daunting. It was literally days before the conference that I felt well enough to at the very least shop for a few new outfits. I was scheduled to host a photography workshop and museum field trip. I kept thinking how am I going to pull this off? My fiance kept reassuring that I would be fine, and he was right. I had to put myself in that mindset. Easier said than done, but there was no choice, and the universe carefully planned it that way.weallgrowselfie The #MisMomentosNeutrogena Sanctuary Suite

I’ve spent the last few days writing recaps about the Summit, which you can see HERE, HERE and HERE. So I won’t get into all the nitty gritty about the sessions and panels. I will, however, share that a circle of amazing women, a fulfilling job along with a stand-up boss and fun loving co-workers all in one room healed me in so many ways. There were times I physically felt horrible but the mind, being as powerful as it is, would not let me go there. I didn’t ignore my body’s need for rest, and took breaks when I needed them, but I also knew that laughter and a good distraction was very important too.10647208_1575987939325546_5649114267968975010_n With so many guests coming from all over the country and world we really wanted them to get a full-on Los Angeles experience. Attendees were given the opportunity of choosing one of four field trips from yoga to DTLA to museums. We really wanted to showcase LA’s hidden treasures, art scene and culture as a way to welcome everyone to our home. The next couple of days were filled with sessions about tech, social media, photography, story telling and inspirational stories. I ate, I laughed, I learned and worked my little tail off to ensure that every single detail made its way through every social media outlet in real time while tracking results. Because of that, it wasn’t easy for me to be in the moment a whole lot, but I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work. youtube nanysklozet fabulatina
But this conference wasn’t just a celebratory mark in my career. The words – We All Grow – carries a huge significance for me that is deeply personal. I took my job at Latina Bloggers Connect during a time that I was unsure about the relationship I was in and didn’t know if I wanted to continue in the museum field. I also missed New York and my family, and wasn’t able to fully accept that LA will be my home for a long while. I felt there was more exploration I needed to do. I had to detach from all the things I felt “identified” me. I was changing. Times were changing. The world was changing. I felt a shift in the universe. There was something urging me to dig a little deeper and take all my experiences to another platform. It was telling me that my time was now, and that I needed to really listen and see the signs. I followed that path of the unknown and eventually found myself traveling, working, and becoming the head of my household (and out of an unfulfilling relationship). It was the toughest and scariest road I’d ever been on but I knew that if I was going to grow, I needed to take those risks.
#WeAllGrow Summit
A lot of my soul is in Latina Bloggers Connect – There’s nothing more fulfilling to me than working with women who live for lifting each other up, breaking down walls and building doors. Where I was emotionally when this journey started and everything that played afterwards was no coincidence. I had to be in that place in order to get to where I’m at now.

In a nutshell, we all grow. But you have to be willing to do the work and accept the set backs. What started out as a one women to a 3 player company has blossomed into two teams of strong, invigorating women. And this is only the beginning.

(Images: Robson Muzel)

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Holiday Metallics

09.12.14

blingtatts
So this “I only wear black for the holidays” lady decided that red was OK too (I will be sure to share the outfit details next week because I love this jumper). For today’s post I would like to share that I’m totally hooked on jewelry tattoos. Completely hooked. First, let me say that when I saw these around the web, I thought it was a pretty trend for the youngins. It was something I admired from afar, but never thought of getting them for myself. Coincidentally, around the same time, Bling Tattoos reached out to me about their product so I jumped at the chance to try them out.
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You can’t see it here, but I created anklets and back tattoos just for fun (because I got carried away). But to go out, I used the patterns as bracelets and rings, but you can design an entire arm or leg piece with these. Trust me, once you apply one, it’s hard to stop.
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If you want to try these out, there’s a 20% off holiday sale going on right now. Check out their blog for ideas!

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Silver and white

08.12.14

ann taylor embellished sweater
In my last post, I said we were going to decorate our Christmas tree that weekend … Turned out, my son got sick with the flu then passed it along to my fiancé so plans changed from silver and gold to herbal teas, medicine and lots of broth. The tree was up and beautifully lit but the ornaments needed to wait until my guys got better. After all, my son was not going to miss our holiday movie night tradition while pulling out the ornaments we’ve collected over the years. To add, it was around this time last year that I was in and out of the hospital trying to figure why I felt so unwell. Even though I am still working on it, it feels amazing to end the year on a healthier note. And to that I say, wear lots of gems, faux leather and switch up your regular winter color palette because life is good and there’s much to celebrate.
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I’m so in love with all things Ann Taylor right now. They have the most beautiful and elegant sweaters for the holiday season, like the Ann Taylor cardigan (embellished) in this picture and the black one I’m wearing in my holiday makeup post. I would have typically gone with black/dark skinny jeans but decided to go change it up with my faux leather pencil skirt from Zara, which I wore in the scorching heat in Vegas … Aah, feel much better to wear it in cooler weather. Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

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classic red

30.11.14

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I like to go from a very subtle makeup look to a very dramatic red lip … But at the end day my goal is to keep it all very clean and classic. You can’t go wrong with Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet (Love La Fascinante and 99 Pirate) and the beautiful L’Oreal Paris products I was recently sent like their Visible Lift Blur Foundation and Colour Riche Dual Effects Eye Shadow in Bronze for the perfect holiday look. I added a bit more drama to my eyes with La Ligne de Chanel (which is my go-to liner these days), Urban Decay Lashes and L’Oreal’s Miss Manga Mascara. And because I will always be a New Yorker (no matter where I live), black is necessary. Love this Ann Taylor embellished sweater and my April Martin necklace, which was given to me by best friend as a birthday gift.

I haven’t planned what we’re doing for the holidays yet. I feel like everyone started Christmas back in the summer and I need to catch up. What’s up with the pace these days? We just hosted Thanksgiving dinner – One holiday at a time. We’ve been decorating our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, and I plan on keeping it that way. We put the tree up last night and I look forward to decorating it with my son tonight to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Hope you all have a great week!

 

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Still Looking

28.11.14

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Currently fascinated with the lives and work of Bruce Davidson and Paul Caponigro – Two American photographers who were both drawn to the UK during the 1960s. The combination of their work offers up countless stories of the more gritty, evocative street culture of England and Scotland and the mystical landscapes Ireland and Britain. I think what I’m drawn to the most is the process of photography we no longer see (view video below) in today’s snap it and go culture. These photos bring us back to the raw, journalistic and mysterious aspect of capturing a moment in time. I’m very excited that these works have been brought together into one comprehensive show, which includes a catalogue and 16 minute film.

Bruce Davidson/Paul Caponigro: Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland is currently on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. After a successful run at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, the exhibition focuses on the contrasting styles of two these two extraordinary photographers. The exhibition features 150 works including the film Still Looking created exclusively for the exhibition by Huntington filmmaker Kate Lain. Both artists are both still alive and practicing, and did not meet each other until recently during the exhibition in New Haven.
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Thank you Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens for the images and video

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{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.
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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.
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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.

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The long sweater

17.11.14

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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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