Monthly Archives: April 2012

April Staple Item: The Maxi Dress

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I’ll be the first one to admit it… It took me a very long time to embrace the maxi dress, but it has finally grown on me.  Three months ago, you wouldn’t have caught me dead wearing a maxi dress or advising anyone to get one, but today I am telling a very different story.  I was out shopping a little while ago and, at last, I let go of some of my stubbornness and I tried on a maxi dress (two actually).  I put them on and I loved them.  It was hard having to only pick one and I remember switching back and forth between the two for a few minutes.  Now, here I am writing to you all about the beauty of a maxi dress.  After having owned one now (I’m a bit ashamed of that and I’m currently looking forward to buying a few more), I must tell you that they are so worth having.

The maxi dress is comfortable, stylish, and so simple for anybody to wear.  If it’s a little chilly out, throw on your maxi dress, some sandals, and a leather jacket, and you’re good to go.  If it really feels like Spring, then just let the maxi dress speak for itself with no cardigans, jackets, or cover ups.  The maxi dress just seems like the perfect combination between a light option for warm days and a more sensible one for breezy days.  You almost don’t even have to think about your outfit when you wear a maxi dress, but, if you like to plan it all out, of course you can.  With this floor length dress, you can wear a belt or a scarf, a jacket or wear it solo, load up on jewelry or keep it simple.  The possibilities are endless.

My suggestion is to have at least two to three maxi dresses in your wardrobe this Spring (I know I’m still working on my stock).  Keep one dress simple and classic.  One that you can dress up, dress down, and completely transform to match your mood.  This is the one you want to accessorize.  Your second dress can be patterned and bolder.  Maybe it can have a funky print or be striped from head to toe.  If you want to go for more dresses, then there are no limits as to what kind of dress you should get… just make sure you love it!  However, for my petite or curvy frames, keep the patterns you choose as elongating as possible.  In other words, don’t buy a maxi dress with horizontal stripes.  Vertical or nothing… trust me you’ll thank me later.

So there it is people.  I have caved to the allure of the maxi dress and I openly invite you all to join me!

To All My Dancers, Happy National Dance Week!

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Before I was even in school, I remember dancing to the sounds of Olga Tañon as my mom made our house spotless.  In elementary school, I did a dark, but quirky modern dance to the Addams Family theme song (who wouldn’t have great memories about that?).  Later, my middle school introduced an after school dance company that I was hesitant to join, but I ended up performing at the Anne Arundel County Dance Festival as part of the MacArthur Middle School Dance Company.  Flash forward a few years and I became the captain and a choreographer for the Meade High School Dance Company.  Today, I work as a dance teacher in Baltimore.

As you can see, dance has always been a big part of my life and, even if I were to stop teaching tomorrow, dance would still be a big part of my life.  Today is the last day of National Dance Week and I am so happy to be able to celebrate it.  I almost didn’t audition for either dance companies, but I did.  I almost quit my high school dance company, but I didn’t.  I pushed through the long hours of rehearsals, the endless injuries, and the stress from the possibility of a dance you created looking a hot mess.  I outlasted it all and earned the title of being a dancer.  After however many pep rallies, dance concerts, competitions, and auditions, I have stuck through it all and I have continued to dance.

I may not be performing with a ballet company in New York or have my own studio in Los Angeles, but my life isn’t over yet.  You never know what the future holds for you, but, for now, I’m just proud to have stayed true to myself and to have continued working on my craft.  I have always loved dance and I always will.  Remember that when something is worth having and experiencing, it is worth fighting for.  Dance is worth having in my life, so it was worth fighting for.  After all that dance has put me through, I am proud to call myself a dancer.

So to all my dancers, Happy National Dance Week!

Let Them Miss You

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Every morning you rise

and continue on your way.

Your rays touch every inch of the Earth.

Your warmth embraces every part of our lives.

We love you

and we need you,

but do we tell you?

No.

Some days

you hide behind the down pour and overcast.

Some days

don’t seem like days without you.

Your warmth is longed for.

Your light is appreciated.

You are truly missed.

Without you,

life would be miserable,

but sometimes you need to leave,

so we can realize exactly how much you mean.

.

A Fashion Win for the Men

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Last night, Florida played host to the Premios Billboard 2012.  Of course, I was more interested in the red carpet than anything else, but, unfortunately, I found most of the looks to be okay and I couldn’t help but ask for more, so that I could just find something to die for.  I saw a lot of neutral colors for the ladies, which is almost always a nice choice, but sometimes it is just too safe.  Live a little and have fun!  On the other hand, some women chose more daring options with plunging necklines that showed off their eye-catching enhancements.  I think they’re trying to live a little too much; however, I’ll admit there were a few women who opted for very flattering gowns that encompassed the idea of glamour, but, in the end, the boys stole the show.

My best dressed, interestingly enough, goes to Colombian singer Juanes.  I mean, honestly, who doesn’t love him?  His songs are great and he has such an electric personality that is hard to overlook him.  On top of that, the laid back motorcycle vibe he threw our way last night only proves that Juanes is not afraid to stay true to himself.  Who can argue with that?  In my opinion, he is probably the only person that could show up to this kind of award show in that kind of outfit and still be credited with a good sense of fashion.

Bachata artist, Prince Royce, and actor, Wilmer Valderrama, also looked quite dapper in their more formal attire.  The two kept their ensembles classic, but introduced their own twist with a bow tie and a skinny tie.  It just proves how much the small details truly matter.  Never underestimate the importance of a tie (or lack there of)!  I also have to give a little shout out to the duo, Chino y Nacho, for their honest attempt to bring personality to a formal suit.  The subtle colors mixed with some plaid allowed them to stand out just enough from the never-ending line of celebrities, while still being able to look sane.

To not completely shut out the females of the night, I will point out a few ladies who put forth their best effort and succeeded.  Maritza Bustamente, Sonya Smith, and Ana Layevska all looked lovely in their floor-length, sleek gowns.  Maritza showed how to do nude colors the right way, while Sonya provided us with a much-needed pop of color.  Ana simply graced us with her elegance in a navy blue dress that I think everyone can appreciate.  Finally, I have to give kudos to La Mujer de Fuego, Olga Tañon.  Seriously, did you really think I was going to talk about a Latin music award show without mentioning her?

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Memories

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This one is from a few years ago, but I still love this poem, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

I see his cross

and I remember.

I see my corner

and I remember.

I see the ribbon

and I remember.

The hurtful words are still so clear.

The screams play over and over.

The scene seems to never end,

while the pain hurts just as much.

I’m haunted by these memories

that I wish would go away.

I’m haunted by these memories

that will never ever fade.

I’m haunted by these memories

that with me will always stay.

Don’t Say It, Do It!

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I have never been one for HBO shows, but ever since Christmas I have been hooked to the recently cancelled series, How To Make It In America.  My brother got it for Christmas and we ended up watching the entire first season that morning.  Every so often we watch the season over and end up more inspired to continue what we do.  This past weekend we spent the afternoon at an art event in Georgetown and spent the rain covered evening at home having an impromptu How To Make It In America marathon.  What can be better than that?

For those of you that don’t know, the show follows a pair of best friends that are also business partners, trying to start their own clothing line in New York City.  In other words, it’s all about the hustle and the truth about making something out of nothing.  Ben is the more cautious one of the two and he often finds himself leaning closer to the safe option than anything else.  Cam, on the other hand, is the more street, never back down kind of guy.  The two have their pros and their cons, but somehow they always balance each other out to create the perfect duo.  Like I said before, the show emphasizes the importance of making something happen out of nowhere and the idea of perseverance.  For a pair of entrepreneurs who are trying to do just that, the show couldn’t be anymore inspiring for myself and my brother.  Plus, let’s face it… the series is just plain awesome.

During the first episode of the series, Cam is told by a successful business owner to stop talking about his ideas and to show what he’s done.  Anybody can have a great idea, but not everybody will put in the work to actually develop a real sample, prototype, or product.  Basically, Cam is told to stop talking the talking and stand out by actually walking the walk.  He’s only going to get the backing he needs if he makes an impression by putting forth the real effort.  The first time I saw this episode this scene pretty much flew right over my head, but, after a few more times, the message is now sinking in and I couldn’t agree with it anymore.  (One reason why I always support re-reading, re-watching, and re-listening.  You will almost always find something new to pay attention to.)

Throughout my life, I have definitely heard a lot of great ideas.  Some from my family, others from my friends, and many from acquaintances, but I can count on one hand how many of those ideas have been developed into something tangible.  A lot of these ideas are really de la boca pa’ fuera rather than concrete plans that will actually be carried out.  As the series continues, you see Ben and Cam struggle with this A LOT.  They face plenty of setbacks that can ultimately be discouraging, but, despite all of the things that are against them, the pair continue to push forward until they get their first denim sample and a few other things they should be proud of.

To me, proving that you can create something real is amazing and worth fighting for.  Forget about whatever fears you may have and go for it.  What do you have to lose?  The worst that can happen is that you end up back where you started.  Sure, this isn’t ideal, but you’ll never know unless you give it an honest effort.  Instead of talking about what you want to do and what you’re planning on doing, just do it.  Stop wasting precious time with your breath.  Use the time that you’re using to pitch people something that doesn’t exist to actually make it real.  Ben and Cam may be fictional characters, but they really aren’t so fictional now are they?  They’re really more a representation of every young entrepreneur who’s trying to move up in the world.  Everyone who has ever had a dream that they’ve reached for can relate to the two.  They represent a piece of all of us and that’s what makes it incredible.  Everything that you see Ben and Cam doing can be done by you, but only if you really want to do that.  If that desire is strong enough and if you have the right mind-set, then why can’t you do it?  Why can’t you make it in America your own way?

Three Weeks…

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In three weeks, I will be done with another semester at UMBC.  I won’t have to worry about papers, reading assignments, or exams for another three months and I can’t wait.  It will be really nice to have time to catch up on sleep and some time to nurture my hobbies.  (I think they’ve been feeling a bit neglected lately.)  Overall, this semester has been challenging and definitely time-consuming.  I’ve had to put in a lot of effort to ensure that all of my classes went smoothly and I’m glad I did.  I would much rather work extra hard now and relax later than spend the rest of my life killing myself to end up nowhere.  I have done so much this semester, so I can only convince myself that I can finish off these last weeks no problem.  If I survived the first twelve weeks, three weeks should be no problem.

Trust me, I’m aware that not everybody is in college and they’re not three weeks away from their summer vacation, but I do know that we are all a short time away from something to look forward to.  You may be a week away from a mini vacation, a few days away from going out with your friends, or even half an hour away from your lunch break.  To think on a larger scale, you might be a year away from graduation or a few months away from a real vacation.  Either way, there is always something to look forward to.  There is always something to work for.  There is always something that keeps you going.

Keep in mind that no matter how distant your break from life may seem, it’s still on its way.