Quellie and Lena Try…Aqua Zumba

So here’s a bit of a little known fact about me for you all: I tend to stay away from doing much exercise in the fall and winter. Why? Well I know the reason may seem superficial to many people but it is because of my hair.  When the temperature starts to dip below 60 degrees I make a point to straighten my hair, be it with a roller-set or using my Instyler. As much as I love my natural curls, I started this cycle back in college as I found that having my hair straight in the fall and winter just made it easier to manage. While the overall time it takes to get my hair from curly to straight is not as bad as my curly routine, it is a lot of work that can easily be for naught if I so much as perspire a bit or let some water, like rain or snow, touch it.

Thus any strenuous physical activities, like exercising, are regulated to the warmer months in spring and summer when I go back to my natural curly hair routine. But even then gymtimidation keeps me away from  and using arm and leg weights while playing DDR at home can get pretty boring after a while. Which leads me to this post.At the start of the summer I did some research to find some out-of-the-box exercise classes preferably in water because let’s face it, summers in NYC are the worst. Thanks to Google I found out about Aqua Zumba. As someone who used to go to Zumba classes (on land) twice a week, I found the concept interesting so I mentioned the idea of giving this a try to Jonquel of Jonqel Art as well as to two co-worker friends of ours that have built in gym days to their weekly schedules. They all immediately jumped at the idea and we bought our first time passes for the following week. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

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The First Sunday in June – BTS of The Ocean’s 8 Project

When we decided to go ahead with this project we did not anticipate how hard it would be to schedule a date for when the photo shoot could happen that would work for all those involved. Originally set to be some time in late-April or May, we ended up having to push it back to the first Sunday in June. Jonquel and I found this to be a bit funny considering that the MET gala takes place on the first Monday in May. I guess you could say we took it to be a sign. We did luck out because it was unseasonably cool day which worked in our favor since we all had to wear jackets,  and blazers, some even had fur and leather as part of their outfits. Jonquel actually fur and leather.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to do BTS vlogs for any blog shoots that I do because of how funny and crazy they often times are so I figured this would be a good place to start doing that. Especially since “The Ocean’s 8 Project” is the most ambitious project to date I’ve ever undertaken. So sit back, relax and check out how we got it all done. (In addition to a short feature in the end as to the reasons “why.” )

Photographer – Kayla K. (@kaylakleinphotography)
MUA – Steph S. (@stephora_beats) Continue reading

The Ocean’s 8 Project – Amita Style Capture

Photography by Kayla Klein

When the first trailer for the all-female spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven film series, Ocean’s 8 dropped, Jonquel and I couldn’t stop talking about it. Both of us are big film and anime nerds so we spent a lot of time geeking over the ensemble cast of diverse women that made up the heist team. However, though it is continuing the tradition of the comedy-heist film, the alluded street style and gala looks made it clear that this movie was also very much a fashion film that will definitely influence future trends. ‘

Soon after that the conversation shifted from being excited to see the film to using it as a platform to demonstrate that size doesn’t limit style by recreating outfits based on each heist-member’s looks from the film. Very much like the concept of the film, Jonquel and I took extra care to recruit some of our influncer friends, who we felt shared a love of film and fashion as great as ours, casting them in roles that matched their individual style and/or personalities.

Disclaimer:  This sponsored project  was not conducted in association with the Ocean’s 8 film. Continue reading

Reflecting on 27

2017 was a very interesting year. It marked the year that I turned 27 – the same age my mother was when she made the decision to drop out of college in Puerto Rico to build a life here in NYC. This is also the age she took steps towards creating a family as she also met and later married my father. All of the above are major life events that I can’t even come close to relating to being single and still living in the same city I was born and raised in.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that does this but I think its only natural to look at the path my mother took in order to gain some sense as to where I should “be” at my age. Which is why reaching 27  meant that I should have parts of my life “together” as an adult and yet I found myself feeling like I hadn’t made any real moves. Continue reading

“We Were Here” – Concert OOTN ft. Dare Fashion

“You’re a tea drinking, highly educated, otaku, goth black Latina that listens to metal. That’s as out there  as it can be.” – Jonquel of JonquelArt

Truer words have never been spoken. I’m a “weird” Afro-Latina girl. I accepted that years ago. I watch anime, read comics and get excited by new Harry Potter and Disney merch/collections whenever they drop but weirder still for most people, I listen to A LOT of metal. Beyonce may be everyone’s queen but mine are Tarja TurnenSharon den Adel, Simone Simons and Floor Jansen. Yes, I did just list a bunch of Scandinavian names. What can I say? They are masters of the genre over there.
I should pause here to explain something. Metal is a very broad term that covers countless sub-genres, one of them being symphonic metal – a genre I was introduced to around 2005 with “Once,” Nightwish’s final album with lead singer Tarja Turnen. I found out about this band thanks in part to the internet and my obsession with the “Phantom of the Opera.” (Long story but true.) I somehow got my hands on a copy of “Once” and with the first verse of “Sleeping Sun” I was hooked. Continue reading