un aguacate a la vez

popular

Wish List | Mid Century Modern Home Decor

Decor, PopularMaría Elena RodríguezComment

If you follow me through social media you've maybe noticed that I've been kind of MIA these days. I have a slight tendency to shut down when I'm making big life decisions and right now my life has been quite hectic. I'm starting my masters degree in journalism in a week and have been house hunting with my fiancé for like a month now. So since this will be both him's and I's first homes, we've been researching and buying all the basics, like cutlery, bedding, pots and pans, etc. Basically everything that would be found on a wedding registry, since we've decided to postpone our wedding and once we have a registry it will be for a badass honeymoon, not pots and pans! Can you judge us? #Adulting 

With this big decision of finally living in our own place has come a lot of interesting and not so fun situations. I thought I would have the house all to myself and decorate it like my own little sanctuary, but oh boy how was I wrong! I totally forgot the fact that I have to decorate according to two tastes: My boyfriend and I’s. And let’s just say he’s not too fond of the whole mid century modern style... 

So since I’ve obviously been Pinning like crazy these days, I thought I would share with you guys my current home decor wish list. I also included some Ikea hacks I'm dying to try out. Hope you enjoy it!

1. West Elm's Acrylic Framework Chandelier

While we still haven't decided on the perfect dining table, I've already convinced my boyfriend this is the perfect statement lighting we need for our future dining area. I find that it is just the perfect amount of casual chic. Fancy, but not too much. You follow me? 

Photo Cred: Home Polish

2. Eames Plastic Chairs

Still trying to convince my fiancé that this is not a college dorm room chair. Any advice on how to explain to him that any 2016 home needs this mid-century modern chair?  #Obsessed 

Photo Credits: carriebradshawlied.com 

3. The perfect Bar Cart

This is totally Kathleen's from Carrie Bradshaw Lied fault. Even though I'm a firm believer in that a drink a day keeps the doctor (psychiatrist) away, I've never thought about owning a bar cart. But after seeing all the possibilities all over Pinterest and her blog, I can now say I have #BarCartGoals. Luckily, Pinterest is full with Bar Cart Ikea hacks

4. Palm Leaves Pillows

Because, duh! This goes perfectly with my Scandinavian meets tropical chic decor style. In other words, this would go perfectly with all the little house plants I will have all over the place. 

5. Ikea PS Gullholmen

Ever since I first saw this rocking chair I knew I would have it in my home one day. I love how rustic and modern it looks at the same time. But honestly, I've never sat on it and it doesn't look that promising in the comfort department... Sometimes you have to sacrifice some things for the sake of style. Amirite? 

6.  Emma Tripod Floor Lamp

Wouldn't this go perfectly with my Eames chairs? Yes it would. I'm a sucker for lightning and I find this would give the perfect soft reading light for the living room. 

Photo Cred: westelm.com

7. West Elm's Marble Oval Coffee Table

This is the queen obsession of all my home decor dreams, but sadly is sold out almost everywhere and if you're lucky enough to find one, it costs more than $500. For a coffee table. 

So this is when I found the wonderful world of Ikea's VITTSJO tables. These can be transform into super expensive looking furniture with just a couple of spray paint bottles and marble contact paper. An Ikea hack that costs less than $100! 

 

Photo Cred: SheerLuxe

Photo Cred: Ambience of Eden

As always, I will keep you guys updated on my decorating journey, and of course, once I have a home! But now I want to know, what's in your decor wish list?!

Until next time!

María Elena

Shop the Feed:

15 Things I Learned Practicing the KonMari Method

Lifestyle, Books, PopularMaría ElenaComment

"Life becomes far easier once you know that things will still work out even if you are lacking something." - Marie Kondo

As you may have noticed by now, I love putting overly hyped products to the test. So this time I decided to give it a little twist and put a book that has been flooding my Instagram and Bloglovin feeds for a while: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

The entire book focuses on the KonMari Method (KonMari = a mix of the author's name), which is a basically a technique on how to keep your personal space in order for good by having less stuff and surrounding yourself only by the things that spark joy to your life. Beautiful, isn't it?

Until now I was what Marie describes as a "rebound" organizer. I would tidy my things up in my bedroom and two weeks later, it was all the way it was before: A huge pile of clothes, bags and shoes. So reading this book was the best way for me to actually realize what was wrong with my organizing methods and I invested a whole weekend in the biggest bedroom purge I have ever done in my life that resulted in a very happy donation store. This is why I decided I wanted to write down 15 things I learned from this book  and maybe several reasons to go ahead and try the KonMari Method: 

1. There is a sequence to tidying your home the best way possible

Clothes, Books, Papers, Miscellaneous and lastly, Mementos. You're welcome, I saved you the Google search. 

2. Tidying my space is much more spiritual than I ever thought.

I feel like I created my own little sanctuary where I can feel as relaxed as possible after a long hard day of work. 

3. When your room is free from clutter you have no other choice than to confront your feelings. 

4. Before you start storing stuff, you need to decide what you want to keep and what to discard.

Otherwise, it will destroy the KonMari Method. Discard everything you don't want all at once and then, just then, you can start organizing all the things that spark joy in your life.

5. The best way to not rebound = Tidy by category, not by place.

6. Tidying is a way of showing gratitude, so think about things as people

Yes, you read that right. Even though not everyone we meet is meant to stay in our lives, they did have a purpose to be in it. With things, it's basically the same, which is why we need to show our appreciation for everything we are discarding.

7. Don't keep old clothes as your official Netflix & Chill clothes.

Your "me time" should be your time to appreciate yourself, so show a little respect and put on some fancy clothes ok? Throw away ALL the clothes that don't spark joy. 

8. Folding clothes can actually be fun and kind of therapeutical

Just try folding everything into a rectangle, then into thirds and then trying to stand them up. It's fun!

9. There are more ways to organize your closet than just color coordinating your clothes

The KonMari method teaches that the best way to keep all the clothes that "Spark joy" in your life is to hang them rising to the right. Your eyes will be happier, try it. 

10. Keep only the books that make you happy when you see or touch them.

11. Letting go of mementos is the hardest part of the KonMari Method

I had about 5 boxes full of memories since high school, which I honestly didn't want to let go. I kept only the ones that made me smile and threw away the ones that didn't make me feel anything. Trust your intuition in this one. 

12. Storing systems are for hoarders

The only storage solution you need is to find a spot for every single category of the things you own. Your storage should always let you know how much you have of something by just a glance.

13. Clutter is the cause of laziness

Well, duh! But seriously though, this method will teach you how to make the only storage you have as effortless as possible. 

14. Empty your handbag every day

You have no idea of how skeptical I was about this. But after a week practicing this method, I can honestly say it doesn't bother me. I have a designated place for all the things that go inside my bag so every night I can put my things away and every morning I know exactly what needs to be taken for the day ahead. I'll let you know if it actually keeps working. 

15. We should treat all the material things that we use in our daily life with respectin order to get the best use out of it

Specially because these things spark joy in our lives. In Marie's own words: "Caring for your possessions is the best way to motivate them to support you, their owner". 


Please be aware that this is not a summary of the book. It is a review of all the lessons I learned while reading it and practicing the KonMari Method. I strongly encourage you to read it so you can discover what is the best way to un-clutter your life. I have a feeling you will like it just as much. :)

Let me know if you would like an update of my lifestyle after the method. 

Until next time,

María Elena

Career Profile | Patricia de la Torre, Former Editor-In-Chief of Caras Puerto Rico

Career, PopularMaría Elena1 Comment

Patricia de la Torre is the former Editor-In-Chief for Caras Puerto Rico, a magazine that closed its doors after 25 years full of great articles targeted to intelligent and curious women. But her high profile career never went to her head. "I am the person who in the middle of meetings stand ups and looks for coffee for the person I'm meeting with", she expressed with pride. It may be that one of her mentors was the graceful (no pun intended) Grace Mirabella... but we'll get into details about that soon.

Even though you can still tell Patricia misses Caras Magazine since it closed this past winter, she is finding inspiration in her new job at Puerto Rico's Bank of Economic Development, where she feels constantly inspired by upcoming entrepreneurs. "It's kind of weird because in my generation they taught us to think about who would we work for, rather what we were going to do. Since millennials are growing up in such hard times, you've developed business skills and see opportunities in places that maybe our generation doesn't see", she expressed. 

"This job has sparked an illusion in me to search for what I can do and has awaken an entrepreneurial spirit in me", expressed the also owner of Patsee, a handbag brand she hand-makes.  (You can order custom handbags by emailing her at delatorre.patricia@gmail.com)

Interviewing Patricia in the beautiful rooftop at Olive Boutique Hotel, has been one of the highlights of my career since she is not only recognized for her amazing career journey, but for being a strong feminist without losing her charming personality. When I told her about my little dream of being an intern for her during college but I never had the guts to tell her, she immediately started laughing and told me that I should've emailed her. Which made me regret being so shy. So college students, take notes! This is how you make it in the magazine publishing industry:

ME: You have a BA and Masters Degree in fashion?

PT: I did my undergrad in Fashion Merchandising from Marymount College and then I did a Masters Degree in Fashion Retailing at NYU.

ME: Did you always know you wanted to work in the Fashion Industry?

PT: Definitely! When I took off for college, studying fashion was not as popular as it is today. To tell you the truth, it was difficult to find schools with fashion majors. The cool thing about Marmount is that since it was a Liberal Arts School, I had the opportunity of graduating with a minor in Creative Writing.

Then, when I graduated with my bachelors degree I was like "do I really have to go and work now?! How terrible, this can't be happening!". So it was way easier to go ahead and study a Masters Degree instead of just accepting that I had to be an adult. So I enrolled in NYU, which was an spectacular experience... It was right in the city where I always wanted to be. But of course, my parents wouldn't let me go for undergrad... which I think was a good idea because I would've been a major disaster!

ME: Tell me about your internship experiences?

PT: Since during that time, pattern divisions were huge, I worked with Vogue Patterns for a semester in college, which was amazing... it was at Vogue's same building! It was super interesting because in Fashion Merchandising we had to work a lot with seams, pattern making, sizing and so much more. They trained us to be able to choose the best garments by turning clothes inside out in order to actually see what material they were using so you would be prepared to work as a buyer for a store someday. I even took chemistry classes while I did an exchange program in London School of Fashion! It was a required two semester course that taught me to be able to understand textiles.

After that I did an Internship at Mirabella Magazine, which was wonderful! The magazine was directed by Grace Mirabella, former Editor in Chief at Vogue, before Anna Wintour took charge. To this day I still remember how hands on and what a special woman she was. It was a really small staff and she was very involved with everything.

I worked in their closet as the assistant of the assistant of the assistant of the assistant and sometimes I had to wake up at 3am to get to photoshoot after looking for everything that was needed in the office and take it to the van, go to the location and pick up the editors and models. But I still had the opportunity of being with Grace during meetings, while being an intern! She even invited me to some of her events at her beautiful brownstone home in Manhattan with all of her staff. I remember one day I found myself at Grace Mirabella's house with all of these designers and I was like "Oh my God what am I doing here?!". The thing is, this fashion world is a little intense and complicated, and she was a great person.

ME: How did you get these amazing internships?

PT: I feel like these days, finding internships is so much more difficult. In those days it wasn't very common to study fashion, so that's why I think that there were more opportunities. I really don't remember exactly how it happened, but I do remember it was pretty easy. 

ME: Who did you most admire when you were growing up?

PT: My mom. I literally ended up studying fashion because of her... She sacrificed so many things so my sisters and I could have the best dresses and shoes, which I believe is to truly be admired. We were these little schmucks and she would take us to Oui Boutique and Nativa Boutique, because she loved spoiling us. She has impeccable taste and she has a lot of common sense, which are things that have really influenced my sisters and I. 

ME: You mentioned on an interview that you entered the magazine world by accident. Tell me a little bit more about this.

PT: It really was by accident. I studied Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Retailing so I was supposed to be a buyer for some store, but it never happened. But I've always loved writing.

When we were kids we used to visit my dad's family in Spain and he always made us write a paper about our experiences. But not only that! When we came back to Puerto Rico, he would make us write an essay about our trip. He even copied our essays and sent them to our professors and it was horrible! But that made us develop a writing discipline that helped us express our experiences in paper later on. 

That's how I started having an itch to start developing the art of writing and journalism. Then while I was doing my undergrad, I decided to minor in creative writing. And once I entered (the magazine world), I was hooked. 

ME: How was your experience at Imagen?

PT: When I came back to Puerto Rico, I started working as an Assistant Fashion Editor at Imagen, and when the Fashion Editor left, they gave me the position. It was a very interesting experience! I was there for four years and I remember that during that time we didn't use Photoshop. We did everything by hand. One of my mentors was the magazine's photographer at the time, Raul Torres, because he was an artist of airbrushing with just brushes, pencils, erasers and sprays. He did everything by hand! No Photoshop.

ME: You worked for a while at GFR Media's deModa. How was that experience?

When this project started, GFR Media called me to join their team. I started as the Fashion Editor and when the magazine started taking more form and direction, they gave me the opportunity to direct it. I had the experience of seeing how a publication went from a newspaper to a newsstand and this is how my job changed from doing only fashion, to actually creating a magazine from scratch. This was also my first experience directing a magazine, which entails so many other things. You have to be in charge of graphic design, photography, client relationships, editing and everything. Even developing a brand! I stayed there for 8 years. 

ME: How did you take the big leap to Caras?

PT: Marisol Malaret was the Editor in Chief of Caras for many, many years... and when a position opened I got it and stayed there for 13 years. The best thing about Caras was our staff. We had the best journalists, photographers and graphic designers. Everyone went to work with a good mood and giving it their all, because Televisa (the magazine's publishing house) gave us a lot of editorial opportunities. Caras had an international look and feel because it was made for educated women who traveled and wanted to know about everything, but it was still a local magazine. Interviews were local and fashion was local.

It was also very important for us to have a balance between articles of interest and social pages. We wanted to have a complete magazine so that any type of person could find something of interest.  If you wanted to know what was the hottest restaurant not only in Puerto Rico, but in New York or Paris, we had an article about it. If you wanted a travel article we also had it... if you wanted something about art and culture, we also had it. We even had a Hollywood correspondent! 

We had brainstorming meetings where everyone had to bring out a topic no matter if it was from their department or not. It was like gathering with friends... we all had different interests, expertises and points of view. That's how we payed such close attention to editorial content. 

If it's not relevant for readers, it's not relevant for advertisers. A magazine is a business and the only way to make money out of it, is by having a quality product. You can't sell your soul to the devil. The moment to turn your magazine into a commercial product, you're doomed. Your readers and advertisers will leave. In order to make your articles relevant, you need to not make your articles look like a non paid political advertisement. The moment you start selling editorials, you're dead.

ME: What was the hardest part of working for a lifestyle magazine during your 13 years in Caras?

PT: I believe that in general, the media still hasn't found the perfect way to adapt to all the changes happening with the Internet and social media. They are still finding the "perfect" formula of how to work the constant changes in media.

The most important thing to think about is to look at it as a brand. Not a magazine, not a blog, not a newspaper, not a radio program or tv program. For example, Caras Magazine was part of the Caras brand. So Caras was a social event, a trip, a clothing line. Everything has to integrate with the brand and the magazine has to be part of it. There has to be a bigger picture; you need to give the customer a 360 experience... An all inclusive: web, social, events, licenses, franchises. 

ME: I loved that Caras had professional profiles! You once said that "women love knowing about other women's stories" and I totally agree.

PT: Women still have a long way to go in equality when it comes to jobs. I love listening about women who are successful and specially when they form part of board of directors. Important decisions are still, in great majority, in hands of men. In Caras, we did a really great effort to find women who gave us a good story and trust me, there're a lot of them! 

I highly recommend the documentary Miss Representation, which is about women leaders and the importance media has in highlighting women as professionals and as cultural and political leaders. I even had my two boys watch it! 

ME: What is the best memory you have in the industry?

PT: Wow... There's a lot of them. But not too long ago, they called me to talk about fashion history in Puerto Rico for the local documentary film Anatomía de un Vestido and that felt really good! It is a very well made local film by Flora Pérez Garay.

ME: Who's the person you most enjoyed interviewing?

PT: Arnaldo Roche. Even though he's really reserved, he let me come inside his workshop. I felt like he was letting me inside his world, and once that happened, we have developed a really beautiful friendship. It felt like a privilege. 

ME: What advise would you give someone trying to enter the magazine world in 2015?

PT: Learn about everything... you need to know how to do everything. Read, read, read and learn new languages and history. Travel. Be curious, have initiative... All that knowledge you thought you were never going to need will become useful when it comes to have an open mind. Even to engage in conversations with whomever! You always need a good conversation piece.

Random facts about Patricia:

  • Favorite Scent: Musk oil by Kiehls
  • Favorite Music: 80's rock
  • Favorite Book: Everything written by David Sedaris. He's so funny!
  • Favorite way to unwind: With my family and boyfriend (actor Braulio Castillo who she describes as a blessing in her life)
  • Favorite Restaurant: My brother in law's restaurant Bricolage in Brooklyn New York. It's an amazing Vietnamese gastropub. 
  • Favorite Social Media Platform: Instagram
  • Favorite Coffee Shop: Café Cuatro Sombras
  • Favorite Drink: Johnny Walker on the rocks.
  • Most have Home decor piece: Pictures! Of everyone. A home without pictures is not a home.
  • Most have fashion accessories: A good pair of jeans. I can pay anything for a good pair.
  • Most proud of: My two sons.
  • Necessary luxury: A nice trip once a year.
  • What's on the top of your bucket list: A nice getaway! I am dying to visit Turkey.
  • Best place you ever visited: There are so many! But no matter where I am, if I am with my family, it's the best place ever.

As I said before, I feel really honored to have had the opportunity of sharing this interview with you. Patricia is someone that I've admired for so long for her career journey and grace. She never lets the industry get to her. I really wish you find the same lesson I got from this interview: Follow your dreams and surround yourself with loving and talented people. Somehow, the world will conspire in your favor.

Thank you so much to Olive Boutique Hotel in San Juan for giving me the opportunity of interviewing Patricia at their amazing rooftop. Did you know The Real Housewives of Atlanta stayed here during their visit to Puerto Rico?! For more information about bookings visit www.oliveboutiquehotel.com or call 787.705.9994. You won't regret it!

11 Ways to Buy High End Beauty Products on a Budget

Beauty, Money, PopularMaría Elena5 Comments
high end makeup on a budget

Us VIB girls, understand that the struggle is real when it comes to Sephora and its point system. We tend to become obsessed with getting beautifully packed high end makeup, as many points as we can just for its "perks" and in some cases, try convincing ourselves that these skin care products are an investment that will pay off when we are older (or is it just me?!). Which is not completely BS, but the fact is that spending money on high end beauty products, destroys our good spending habits. So here are my top 10 tips on how to save money without sacrificing half of your salary:

1. Buy Online As Much As Possible

This is my #1 tip because almost all websites, at least from Puerto Rico, won't charge you state taxes. Plus, they will probably grant you free shipping if you spend $40-50 or more. This is sadly not the case for Sephora and Ulta. ☹️

2. Subscribe To Your Favorite Brand's Websites

Brands like Tarte, have the BEST sales every once in a while. I've received email coupon codes from 15% to even a 30%. Plus, they always give you the chance of adding some free samples to your purchase. 

3. Treat Yourself! (On Your Birthday)

Most beauty product websites have coupon codes for your birthday. Again, make sure you subscribe to them so you don't miss one. 

4. Try As Many Samples As You Can

Go ahead and try some samples with your 100 points perks, or better yet, get some free ones from your online purchases. This is the perfect way to finding out if you actually like a product without spending your cash on the whole thing. 

5. Start With Travel Size

If you can't find samples and you've been meaning to try that new BB Cream or Face Mask, find out if they have a travel size. That way you will spend about half the price and if you don't like it, you won't feel as guilty. 

6. Sign Up for a Beauty Box Subscription!

If you are a true beauty addict trying to save some cash, a monthly beauty box is your answer. You can sign up for Birchbox or Ipsy and you will receive a cute box of travel size products for just $10 a month. I actually have a 50% discount code for you if you use this link. 😊

7. Wait For Special Occasions and End Of Seasons 

Apart from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most brands have sales on holidays like Labor Day, Valentine's Day, etc. Make sure you're subscribed to your favorite brands' websites and check your email around these days for some awesome discounts.

8. If You LOVE It, Buy It Jumbo Size

The case on my much loved Tarte Maracuja Oil and Ole Henriksen Truth Serum. If you have the money, go ahead and buy the jumbo version of your favorite products. Sometimes you could save as much as 50% on your product, without discounts. 

9. Spend your 500-1,000 Sephora Points wisely

Try to look at this as an investment. If you are going to spend that much money to enjoy your perks, you better make it good. Don't just get whatever is featured, wait for something you ABSOLUTELY were dying to try or love. 

10. Don't Buy Drugstore Makeup Just Because It's On Sale

Repeat with me: Do I really need another lipstick? If you're trying to save money, those little runs to Walgreens or CVS to "just buy tooth paste" do add up. And don't get me wrong! Drugstores have a great variety of awesome beauty products, but if you're on a budget, I would definitely recommend saving your money for one high quality lipstick in an awesome shade that suits you perfectly, rather than 10 that will probably be dancing in your purse or junk drawer for months... or years (trust me). 

11. Use Up All Your Products Before Buying New Ones

This is a tough one for all of you hoarders out there. And I mean, don't buy another face powder if you still haven't finished the one you are currently using. That way your products won't go bad and you get full value for your money. Easy math huh? 

Learnings

  1. Buy online as much as possible

  2. Wait for sales

  3. Try samples
  4. Don't be a hoarder
  5. Say no to shopahollism! (Yes, I just invented a term!)

How do you save money on beauty products. If you find this helpful, please share it with your friends!

Until next time, 

María Elena 

BONUS! I have a new section in my blog where you can find all the discounts that I can provide you with. I will make a small commision out of it or receive the same discount you will be receiving. In other words, you will be supporting this blog or giving me awesome discounts! So thank you in advance. 💛