Sweet Like Deadly Nightshade

Fun fact: When I was growing up, my father had major aspirations of my brother and I becoming child models. Every so often he would put up a white bedsheet on one of the walls in the living room, get some props and outfits together and we’d have our own photoshoot sessions right at home. I still have the albums full of the photos including the professional ones that he had done to send to modeling agencies. Neither my brother or I ever got a modeling contract as kids (Not for lack of trying, I mean we were adorable but I guess that wasn’t enough, hahaha) but at the very least we have the memories.

At the start of quarantine last year, my brother was actually the first one to point out that I could not use the pandemic as an excuse for not continuing to take photos and create content. According to him, I’ve been “trained for in-house photoshoots” and now I even have more space to work with than we did growing up. I initially disagreed because working in one space can be pretty limiting, but in time I took up the challenge, working around issues with lightening (my apartment is intentionally dark in certain spaces) and even did some much needed furniture/decor shopping which I had put off for the last 2 years.

I’ve done quite a bit of shooting at home as a result, some of which I haven’t shared yet, but I wanted to try my hand at something “different” for this new year. So armed with my trusty tripod, selfie light, new make up, new bedding and a lux velvet set I bought as a Christmas gift to myself, I figured it was time to try something way, way outside of my comfort zone – my own boudoir shoot. Continue reading

Dressed to Chill

When it comes to spending the holidays at home, with just my immediate family, I tend to go for something simple. Not because the occasion isn’t special, but since most of my relatives actually live in Panama we really don’t go all out like most other (Latinx) families do. We keep things pretty low key, unless we invite some friends over, and this year was no different.

Just sitting around reading a book and drinking tea until it was time to cook.

This is why I went with complete comfort over style with this year’s Thanksgiving outfit – just a cute knit sweater and leggings.  I am currently obsessed with this plum/grape shade of purple and Torrid seems to be the one place that actually has anything in this color in my size so this drop shoulder cable knit tunic-length sweater was at the top of my “must buy” list as soon as I saw it online. Other than the color,  I really love the strappy lace up front detail that brings some sass to what would otherwise be considered a fumpy top. Unfortunately this sweater is sold out in this color but the style is still available in black in limited sizes.

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Eliminating my credit card debt!

It took 6 long years but, I am totally credit card debt free!I started this journey in late 2014 after grad school.  Back then, I found myself with a little over than $5k in credit card debt, no job (or savings) and in need of a new apartment – not the best place to be in. Needless to say I’m living proof that you can battle credit card debt while also being broke. I will admit that things did get harder once I was laid off in 2015 from one job and then being furloughed in April from another. However, I still managed to reach my goal. Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, but, I want to share what helped me get to this point as I know it could prove to be helpful for people dealing with the same issue during this pandemic. Continue reading

Boho Summer Dress Fun

I’ll be honest, once this lockdown period started I immediately stopped shopping for anything non-essential. Part of this was due to the uncertain financial situation but it also was because I wasn’t sure when I would be going out again. I went into my apartment in mid-March, during which I was still wearing turtle necks under my coat, and by the time I stated to go outside I had missed spring entirely. Not that I’m complaining too much about that because I actually got to have one spring without having to suffer through terrible allergy attacks.Anyways, being home has given me a chance to purge my closet (again) and style some old summer pieces in new ways as well as find any “style gapes” I may have. When it comes to summer fashion my closet is seriously lacking because I’m not a fan of this season (the humidity is no joke in NYC), so I don’t  give summer fashion much thought beyond bathing suits which says a lot about my priorities, hahaha.  Continue reading

Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

As someone who has dealt with homeless twice before already, the very thought of unemployment has always been a major anxiety trigger for me. So I’ve become the kind of person that needs to have some sense of financial stability and control in order to hold my fears and anxiety in check. Financially, I am in a better place than how things were with my family back when I was a kid, however, like most people I know living in NYC, I still live paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t the most stress-reducing situation. Just missing one paycheck results in a financial setback that will take months to recover from.

So when I got the news in April that I was furloughed, I broke down and had one of the worst panic attacks ever. My mother, who is getting through lockdown along with me, didn’t know how to help but she tried her best to calm me down, embracing me until I stopped crying, shaking and hyperventilating. (My mother has never experienced me having a panic or anxiety attack firsthand and I know this scared her but I appreciate that this is how she chose to handle the situation in that moment because I managed to recover much faster than I would have otherwise.) I was unconsolable for days. I was angry at all those “we’re in this together” messages circulating everywhere. Yes, we’re facing the same storm that is COVID-19, BUT we’re all experiencing different journeys because we’re on different ships. Some of us aren’t even on ships at all, just doing the best with our inflatable life raft, if that.

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