The Roaring ’20s (and 30s)

Like most people (I like to think that I’m not the only one that does this) I make grandiose goals for myself. Its not even something I do at the start of a new year as a resolution, but just in general as a way to motivate me. So I struggle whenever I don’t meet the expectations I set for myself.  It is very unlikely that I will stop this habit any time soon, yet even with the challenges thrown my way and my disappointments (of which there were MANY in 2019), I took the time to celebrate the small victories I had in the decade that was my twenties.

Given my history with anxiety, depression and suicidal idealization (all of which are topics that I hope to cover on here soon), I never expected to even make it to my current age, let alone enter another decade of life. And that’s what makes 2020 and turning thirty so frightening to me.

Even so, I have a whole new set of goals in mind for this year and the rest of this new decade. I figure sharing some of them will help keep me honest and maybe motivate anyone that may be starting the year off on a bit of a low point to look at what comes next as chance for self-growth and greater adventures. Continue reading

Turning 29 in Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto

Once I heard that the the third annual Su-Style Expo, the premier plus size event for Latinas, would be happening on May 4th, literally the day after my birthday, I took this to be a sign that it was finally time for me to go to Puerto Rico. My mother spent over 4 years there working on her BS in Biology before immigrating to the US and so I grew up listening to my mother call Puerto Rico as her “Segunda Patria” (Translation: Second homeland). Having heard her stories and seen pictures of her adventures there, I dreamed about the day that I would be able to travel to “La Isla del Encanto” myself.

My mother’s birthday is a week before mine and she hasn’t been back since she left in 1987 so I figured that  a mother-daughter trip would also be a great birthday present for her. (And by extension, Mother’s Day present too because that was a week after our trip and I was pretty broke after this, hahaha!) So I bought our tickets, booked the hotel and told her to pack her bags. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so excited.

I had originally planned to do a full-fledged travel vlog complete with a pina colada counter (because there were many, I mean it is Puerto Rico after all), but alas I was having a bit too much fun to take video too seriously. However I still wanted to share a bit about our trip so check it out below!

Day 1 – Travel Day

My mother and I haven’t been on a plane together since 2007 when we flew down to Panama as a family for my great-grandmother’s funeral so it was a nice change of pace to be traveling someplace for fun rather than obligation. The entire time in the airport I caught my mother looking around the airport muttering, “No puedo creer que vamos a Puerto Rico!” (Translation: I can’t believe we’re going to Puerto Rico!)

The face of complete joy at being back.

Even with all the excitement, our first day on the island just consisted of picking up our rental car and settling into our hotel. My mother had to cram three days of work into two in order to get the rest of the week off so she was pretty beat by the time we got to the airport and I had actually stayed up the night before repacking my suitcase for the fourth time so we were pretty tired to do any of the things that I had on the agenda for the day besides getting something to eat. Continue reading

My Fall Lagom Style with Ellos

Earlier this month the Swedish plus size brand, Ellos invited a few influencers to embrace the Swedish concept of Lagom, meaning,  “just the right amount.” This concept is  the complete opposite of what Americans typically embrace due to our intense consumer culture which is the idea of “more is better,”  so I found the concept of Lagom fascinating as it simplicity, affordability and quality above all else in every part of everyday life including fashion.

Continue reading

Aggretsuko-inspired Summer Casual

 “Aggretsuko” or Aggressive Retsuko is an anthropomorphic red panda who is the namesake and protagonist of the the Netflix anime that premiered this past spring. She is a socially awkward, office worker in her mid-20s taking on the corporate world who is also a death metal enthusiast. As a Sanrio mascot she is as cute a character as the ever popular Hello Kitty, however, this “kawaii” appearance is a major contrast to her love of metal, and her affinity for using death metal karaoke to vent her frustration with her career and culture norms/expectations. The show wasn’t even officially announced by Netflix when I first started getting messages from friends on social media saying, “OMG! Its you!” They weren’t wrong, it really is.

“Underneath this smile I’m metal til I die!” 🤘🏽

And when I saw her redesign for the 33rd Annual Sanrio Character Ranking competition back in June, I fell in love with her outfit because it is totally something I would wear myself. It was simple and inevitably cute, yet it had a subtle feminine edge to it that suggested her metalhead past times. (And before you ask, even with her rise to popularity with her Netfilx show,  Retsuko only came in 20th place for the official ranking competition. I agree, she was robbed. But there’s always next year.) Continue reading

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