January 9, 2017

Giving myself time…




Here’s a crazy thought: staying calm, cool and collected on the most anxiety ridden of days will be your claim to fame on 2017. Well, for me this a personal feat that I will be working to accomplish this year. You see, this is not me. At all. I am and have always been the anxious beast who sends channels her super anxious powers to anyone and anything who is willing to partake in it. And many a times, it can be quite debilitating.

In my case, I have learned to control it to a point where I can be productive enough to get what I need done. I am a perfectionist and extremely hard on myself. And as you can imagine, now that motherhood is in the picture, it has reached an all new exciting *not* level. Starting a new job in my field of school psychology has been a true blessing but has also contributed to me experiencing new levels of anxiety. Since I had been out of the field for so long (5+ years), I absolutely felt out of place and in need to catch up. Fast. You would think that someone in my field would know how to handle all the aforementioned but textbook knowledge can only get you so far when you experience these things IRL.

With all this said, I have decided to take a moment and give myself time. I am at a point in my life where it becomes tiresome to keep up with everything I believe everyone else expects of me. I suppose this is how I have been living my life for the past few years and it finally caught up with me.  My subconscious is finally saying “take control of what you want”. So I am. Mind you, it is no easy task but little by little I am discovering that unbinding myself from what I believe are other’s expectations of myself has allotted me a new perspective on how I want to view my life and how I want things to play out for ME. This is a new chapter. One that I can get on board and be content with. Up to now, it feels pretty damn good.

I appreciate those of you who wholeheartedly (and genuinely) reach out with words of kindness. They never go unnoticed and and I am grateful to connect with many of you who share your similar woes with me here on my blog and on social media and I wish to not only continue nurturing those relationships but also wish for you the very best in everything you have proposed to achieve for yourself. You will do it. No doubt about that.

‘Til next time,

Raquel

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January 3, 2017

roadtrip: st. augustine, fl.

Hey guys!

First post of 2017 and we’re off to exciting beginnings! Well, on the 1st of january, the hubs, Lucas and I went on a little roadtrip to St. Augustine after several of my work colleagues had insisted I go during winter break. My husband had been there before a long time ago so he said we had to go because it is such a pretty little town and very spur of the moment decided to jump in the car and head out there.

Initially, we wanted to go see the Castillo San Marcos fort that the town is so famous for but we got there around 2:00pm and it started pouring raining and had to wait in the car for like a half hour until it stopped. Once we were able to leave the car, we just decided to walk around the town and sightsee because it is literally the cutest little town I’ve seen in a while. There are so many cultures intertwined in the feel of the town (french, german, cuban, spanish, you name it) and there’s such richness to the vibe of the town that we really just felt so at ease just walking around and taking it all in. Needless to say, Lucas was loving it, too! I also love that so many families go there so there are other children walking around with their families and it feels like such a nice place to just chill, grab a bite (and a drink ha!) and just play tourist for the day. We decided we needed to go again soon because there are the cutest (not even kidding) bed and breakfast inns I have ever seen in my life and you can literally just wake up and go walk around all day because at every corner there is am adorable shop to go into or place to grab a yummy bite. We ate at this place called Barley Republic Irish Pub & Oyster House and seriously had some delish street pork tacos (the hubs had fish and chips which were insanely good). No pics on the food included here because our camera decided to die on us by the time we sat down to eat.

So if you’re planning on a trip to florida, make it a point to go to this part of the state because you will seriously not regret it.

‘Til next time,

Raquel

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December 30, 2016

as the year ends…

Pictures by : Abby Cox

Hey guys!

Well, here we are: another year has passed and we’re all ready to welcome the next one. At least I am.

I must say it has been quite a rollercoaster of a year for my family and I, many ups and downs, expectations that weren’t fulfilled but looking back at the things that didn’t come into fruition I am thankful for them not having made it into my life because of three reasons: a) I wasn’t ready for them, b) God had something better for me or c) i was being kept from something that would’ve potentially harmed me or my family.

A couple of years ago, during one of my birthdays, my husband and I went for dinner in Old San Juan and a man on the streets approached me and asked if he could read my tarot cards for me. I was kind of skeptical but nonetheless I obliged and said yes. A lot of things he told me I already knew but many I just thought “yeah right, none of that’s gonna happen”. But, one thing I distinctly remember him saying to me was this: “a lot of things in your life are going to happen that you will feel like you don’t deserve or that opportunities have passed you by or that you won’t get a second chance but in the long run you will see that what didn’t play out the way you wanted will come back as a second chance even better than your expectations were initially. In your heart, you will see and understand why it played out the way it did.” Flash forward 5 years later and everything he said has come to be just like he said. Lots of disappointments but within them many hidden blessings.

I share this story with you because I am not much of a planner. Whenever I try to force something or give it too much structure, it feels constricted and immediately it falls apart. A lot of things I have accomplished because I have taught myself to believe that when you want something badly enough, your faith and courage will lead you to where you need to be. I’ve learned to be guided by my dreams which are enough for me to fuel a fire strong enough to work for a certain goal. I have worked hard for the things I have accomplished with no grandiose expectations, just my heart and intuition leading me along the way. I have failed A LOT OF TIMES, cried and asked “why not me?, why not now? it’s not fair”. But then I say to myself “get yourself together and get back up. There’s something better. Go get it.” And 10/10 times there always is. 10/10 times what I gained in my loss was far better than what I could’ve ever imagined. I suppose this is what that man was trying to tell me. Every dream you have will come to be because of the faith you have in yourself to achieve them. No amount of planning will take you as far as the confidence you have in yourself to believe you are worthy of that dream.

This new year will be no different. I have no concrete plans. My only plan is to continue working my ass off for the things I love and for those I love. I will continue to grow and make mistakes, learn from them,  while paying attention and focus to the things that I know will take me where I need to go. My plan is to believe in my damn self now more than ever and have faith in God’s plan for me. It will be an amazing year. I declare it.

I wish you all many blessings and a prosperous new 2017,

Raquel

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December 25, 2016

ON CHRISTMAS MORNING



Hey Guys!

I suppose it’s been a while since I’ve been here so my apologies but the holidays and work have been so crazy that I have barely had time to comb my hair. No joke.

I hope you guys have had an amazing holiday and christmas day with the ones you love. We are just being super lazy, lounging and assembling christmas toys for lil Lucas (no, we didn’t do it ahead of time, don’t even go there) and will be going to Mass later in the evening. Vacation time is much needed right now, even if it is for a week!

Merry christmas and best wishes to you all,

Raquel

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December 8, 2016

outings with my boys

outings with my boysoutings with my boysoutings with my boysoutings with my boysoutings with my boysoutings with my boys

The men in my life. How I love them so! I honestly feel like the luckiest girl to have them and wonder how I ever got so lucky. I live for downtime when I get to just get away with them and have our little outings even if we don’t go anywhere too far it doesn’t even matter. Lucas is a total homebody anyway and I would not be exaggerating if I told you at times he literally loathes going out. As long as we are around, he is so happy and doesn’t even need to leave our apartment. But when he does, boy does the kid have fun! He is ever the little social butterfly and will go hug every pretty girl he sees – the kid’s got good taste, I’ll tell you that much, ha!! These pics were taken a little over two weeks ago while we did a little xmas shopping and it was a little colder so that’s why you see me – finally! – rockin’ my tall boots and sweater (Zara-sold out). Right now it’s hot af AGAIN but regardless, keeping my hopes up for chillier weather in the weeks to come.

Hope you guys have an amazing rest of your weeks,

Raquel

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November 30, 2016

Irresistible Me Jade ceramic brush

irresistible-me-jade-brush-reviewIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWLucas loooves to hang around while I glam up!!

IRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWIRRESISTIBLE ME JADE BRUSH REVIEWirresistible-me-jade-brush-reviewirresistible-me-jade-brush-review

What is it about pretty hair that makes women feel like they could take on the world? I, for one, am the type that as long as my hair is feeling fresh, sleek and healthy am able to keep everything else pretty simple and low key because I know my hair will do all the talking. That just stepped out of the salon feeling is something that always makes me feel like a million bucks and I absolutely love it.

A while back, I was asked to try out Irresistible Me’s Ceramic straightening brush and was pretty excited to receive it because I had seen similar ones in retail and department stores but was skeptical to buy one for myself. Normally, I like to wear my hair straight (I usually blow dry and use a straightening iron afterwards) but my hair is super thick and has a bit of wave so it takes me a looong time to get my hair just the way I like it. I honestly thought a brush like this could would not be able to tame my hair or the amount of thickness I have going on but boy was I wrong.

I set out to let my hair air dry after I showered in the morning. Since I get keratin treatment done on my hair the volume and waviness has reduced quite a bit so this made using the brush even better. If you’re wondering if you chemically process your hair and/or dye it and can use the brush the answer is YES!! The brush has a digital control panel on the left side and you can heat it up to 45o°F which I love because – and don’t judge – my hair needs a lot of heat to get it the way I want it. The brush has the ceramic bristles which are the ones responsible for delivering the smoothing to the hair strands but it also has protective, longer bristles which guard you from getting burnt while you are maneuvering the brush all over your hair. Another thing I love is the swivel cord which makes moving around while doing your hair such a breeze. Overall, I would say I spent a half hour less styling my hair with the brush than what I would normally spend with the blow dryer AND straightening iron

The end result? Super soft sleek hair with just the right amount of volume and tons of shine, just the way I like it. And the best part is I can use it as often as I want whenever I need to tame my hair a bit but am in a hurry and I know I will get great results.

I definitely loved integrating this product to my hair routine and I know you guys will love it, too.

‘Til next time,

Raquel

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November 22, 2016

BATH TIME WITH NUBY

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Hey guys! Hope your weeks are off to a great start. We’ve sure been keeping busy (work and play) and this weekend we got the chance to go on a little getaway to decompress a bit.

Regardless of where we go, bath time is a must ritual that we can never skip with our little one. Even if I forget or if he’s too tired, he’ll always ask for a bath. It very much relaxes and puts him at ease but he also gets a chance to blow off some steam (you know, toddlers can be very moody during the day, ha!) and the best way to do that is playing for a while in the tub with some of his favorite toys.

Recently, we got some really cool products via Nuby that Lucas is just loving so much during bath time. One of them is the Octopus Hoopla  that is seriously so cute and fun to play with. It gives us a chance to brush up on counting and he loves tossing the little rings in the octopus’s legs. Another fun product he’s obsessed with is the Hippo Spout Guard which can be used in two fun ways for the water to come out : underneath the hippo’s chin there’s a little door that when closed, the water comes out of the hippo’s nose! Lucas just loves it and goes crazy for it! The Nuby Stacking boats are awesome because he is obsessed with naming colors and as is he takes them out and puts them back in order (this toy is great for perceptual motor skills!), he names the colors one by one.

Finally, we always finish with brushing his teeth and the Nuby 4 Stage Oral Care Set System is a fun way to instill the importance of oral hygiene. Even though this oral care system is used in stages, Lucas enjoys using all four brushes, especially the little silicone massager he puts on his finger and brushes his “teefers”. I love seeing him enjoy these products because he has so much fun and has no idea he is learning through play. Nuby products are great for that and I am happy they are safe products for him to use.

We seriously love these products and hope you guys give them a try for your little ones.

Have a great week!

Raquel

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November 7, 2016

Knit top and velvet skirt


velvet-skirt-and-knit-sweatervelvet-skirt-and-knit-sweater-2 Velvet skirt and knit sweater Velvet skirt and knit sweater Velvet skirt and knit sweater Velvet skirt and knit sweater

So you probably know by now that velvet is making a huge comeback for the holiday season and I am just over the moon about it. If I could walk head-to-toe draped in velvet I totally would because this stuff is just bomb.com. My husband would never let me though so that would spare some embarrassment. Naturally, when I found this little number   I damn near had to catch my breath because the color is just good enough to wear throughout the day and into the night and can literally pair up with anything you throw on it. Since it is getting chillier here in Orlando, I decided to pair it with the friggin’ loveliest stitch sweater  in the prettiest blush color and you wouldn’t believe how lightweight and cozy it is. The combination of gray and blush has always seemed so pretty to me and I was dying to pair the two together in an outfit. So I finally got a chance to do so!

Hope you guys have an amazing week!

xoxo,

Raquel

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October 24, 2016

tan and black

tan and black tan and black tan and black
tan and black tan and black

Seriously guys: Is there anything chicer than a tan and black outfit? I swear I’ve been seeing this combo everywhere (my Insta, Pinterest, girls at the mall) and I just had to give it a try. I had gotten this little number  a while back and I wanted to do something fun with it – you know me and pairing dresses with pants – so I remembered I had my trusty, black skinny jeans and decided to pair ’em together. I seriously feel so chic with this combo I can’t even. I feel that definitely gold jewelry is the way to go for accessories with this neutral pairing because it sort of brings out the richness in the tan and offsets it nicely.

On another note, we’ve been having super nice weather down here in Orlando and I seriously am loving it. My prayers for cooler weather have been answered this time around and I honestly can’t wait for some warmer clothing pretty soon. Only thing that sucks is the cold, early morning commute to work but hey, you can’t win ’em all, eh?

Hope you guys have a kickass start to your weeks!

Xoxo,

Raquel

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October 6, 2016

5 things I want my son to remember…

new beginnings new beginnings new beginningsnew beginnings

Hey guys! I know I have been MIA  for a bit but I have been very, very busy tending to so many changes our family is undergoing right now and have been going a bit cuckoo trying to juggle everything.

I’ve been thinking a lot about certain aspects of parenthood that have really stuck in my mind, how I am raising my son, watching him grow and taking into consideration that everything my husband and I do affects his development because he is, in fact, very much aware of all that goes around him. Parenthood is such an evolutionary concept and so many aspects come into play that we could easily spend days talking about it. Every family is different, however, in how they approach raising their children. The key is how we are being proactive at instilling the values we hope they display one day when they’re older.

Coming from a dysfunctional environment myself, I know firsthand how important it is for me to be mindful of steering clear of negative mindsets and toxic behaviors. It is not about denying where you have been and come from but using those experiences as stepping stones to become better, stronger and resilient. So with all this said, here are 5 things I wish to instill in my son, tools that I learned along the way growing up and others I still have a hard time putting into practice myself but will not give up on furthering because I believe they’ve allowed me to open my eyes to many truths about myself.

  1. Cultivate patience: My Achilles heel. This is by far the hardest habit I’ve ever had to face and cultivate. I am the most impatient person you will ever meet and many a times it has hindered me from growing both spiritually and professionally. I absolutely believe Lucas came into my life to teach me and guide me to strengthen this part of my life, given that his temper is very much like mine. I have learned you will never get anywhere by adopting a negative, closed-off mentality and when things are heated emotionally, you’re best bet is to be patient with the other person and employ emotional intelligence to leverage the situation.
  2. Be tolerant: Not everyone will think like you, not everyone has experienced the things you have experienced, not everyone will agree with your ideas and not everyone comes from where you come from. Be respectful of other people’s experiences because you can learn so much from them and even discover things about yourself you never even knew.
  3. Be empathetic: It doesn’t matter if you’ve never experienced a certain situation in your life, your capacity to place yourself in someone else’s shoes will take you as far as you allow yourself to distance yourself from an individualistic mindset and think of other’s needs. Remember, animals need empathy, too. That’s why Max loves you so much! Never forget that.
  4. Never doubt how far you can go: You are you’re own best friend and you can be you’re own worst enemy. The worthiness you place on yourself goes beyond simply showing people what they want to see, they need to feel that you value yourself and the best way to do that is by walking the talk, not merely talking the talk. It’s not about ego, it’s about believing you are smart enough and strong enough to face anything that comes your way. Do you feel it in your heart? I know you will be passionate about so many things someday and I also know you will not succeed in everything you attempt to do and that is okay. It’s okay to fall sometimes. The key is to believe you have what it takes to get back up, dust yourself off and try again. We got your back!
  5. Have faith: This one is a bit tricky, for me at least. It’s something I’ve lost many times but somehow, it comes back into my life at the most unexpected times and times of most need. Faith makes us believe in the unfathomable, it is ever-evolving and abundant-should we choose to employ it and cultivate it. You will learn that it is the ONLY tool you will ever need to succeed at anything you set your heart to do but it will take time to understand it’s importance. Your relationship with God is the only one that should never be broken and the one which will be put to the test almost every day, at every hour. I have found that feeding the soul is the only way to make sense of what my mind tries to convey each day. Logic at times can kill faith and will not allow us to see beyond what we could never imagine to be true. Believe in the unbelievable and you will truly see what needs to be seen.

‘Til next time,

Raquel

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