Two Days in Barcelona

Barcelona in 2 days:

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This was our first trip to Barcelona and even though we only stayed two days and wished we stayed more we saw everything there was to see in the winter season and enjoyed our time in this beautiful and relaxing city.

 

First thing to know is that it is a city filled with culture, religion, good restaurants and ancient buildings.  Our goals where to visit La Sagrada Familia de Barcelona, Park Güell, the houses of Gaudi and explore the city center.

 

We stayed at a beautiful apartment minutes away from the metro station right next to ave. Catalonia. Everything was walking distance which helps a lot specially when you are in a budget, trying to save money and want to get the most out of your experience.

 

Our first day consisted of eating our hearts out with classic Spanish Tapas and Wine and walking around the Ave. Catalonia getting to know local markets, stores and fairs around the block. We had a lovely sidewalk dinner in the same avenue and we got to dish & dine with a lovely view.

 

Our second day was a bit higher paced. We bought the city tour hop on hop off buss which goes around for $30 and takes to sight seeing all around the city.

 

It picked us up at La Sagrada Familia de Barcelona where we where hopelessly breathless so see the immense and colorful building filled with tempered colorful glass, history and amazing Gaudi architecture and design. The entrance fee here is about $15.

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Then a 20 minute drive to Park Güell where we were taken in awe by Gaudi’s’ yet more colorful design and inspiring arquitecture. If you get the tour you will learn the history of it but the Hop On Hop Off buss we bought explained it very well and we decided to just walk around at our own pace and experience it ourselves.

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We then proceeded to a 3-hour long bus ride along side all of Barcelona (except the beaches which the tour of them is closed during winter time), glanced at the amazing Olympic area of the ports, gothic city and more.

 

After it was all said and done with had a great dinner at a local restaurant and ended our night and cultural experience discovering the many shots that a local bar had to offer. From crazy wild shots with accessories to simple shots in which you had to dance for.

PRICE RANGE:

PLANE: $$$

STAY: $$

FOOD: $

ACTIVITIES: $

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Hurricane Maria

September 2017 was the beginning of many things for the citizens of Puerto Rico. The wake of two supernatural monstrous hurricanes left the island in awe and not in a positive way. The destruction of crops, houses, lands, fields, water and electricity grids, telecommunication channels, antennas and more left us the people who stayed without many necessities like gas, food, power and water, communications and those where the lucky half. The other half, the ones who live hours away from the city, the capital got it so much worse. They were left without the same necessities, clean river and lake water, roofs over their heads, cars and streets to drive out of the wrecked town.

 

In the efforts to help the recovery of the island after this unprecedented situation that some say God forced upon us. I’m not a big believer in god himself as you may already know and especially in this types of situation. I don’t believe there’s a god that would save some and sacrifice others, it just doesn’t make sense. Either way, whether it was god, bad luck, global warming, we are all in the same boat and we all stood to help one another. Thousands of volunteers independent or organization driven took part of the recovery of the island. Supplies were sent and were distributed and little by little some cities were better than others, others were forgotten. Fear, danger, crime and wariness ravaged those forgotten cities. They were left for last, without power, water or supplies.

 

Fast forward to two months from September and more than half of the island still lacks electricity, only 60% of telecommunications have been restored, there is only one internet company working and providing service, 30% of the island still lacks access to clean filtered water and there’s basically no gas to cook with our camping gas stoves.

 

All this facts later and I don’t know if its ignorance or that people have grown accustomed to their new situation but the conversation about the island and its livelihood has died down and we are more focused on events like black Friday, when will certain shops, restaurants and stores re open that the overwhelming reality that faces our island and its citizens everyday.

 

We need to reroute the conversation.

 

 

Stress Habits

5-Ways-to-Manage-Your-Election-Stress-Disorder-1440x810.jpgIf you have watched the news lately and you know that I am Puertorrican, living in Puerto Rico, you would know that about a month and a half ago my home, my island, my peace was struck with a category 5 hurricane which basically left my island in shambles (I still don’t have electricity btw.). Thank you Jesus, me and my family are okay, our home is too and my dog babies didn’t even realized what happened because they slept through the whole thing. That said, I still clearly been in a lot of stress, specially now that I’m back in school and work full time (yep! school full time, work full time) and with that, no electricity situation going on, well it kind of adds to it, a lot! 

There are different kind of stresses and stressors in life, emotional, physical, work related, school related, future uncertainty stress (talking to us, millennials!) and with all those stress factores there are not as many stress canalizing techniques, that actually work or we are willing to pay for or even try.

The stress I’m currently facing is “I can’t control anything, what is my life? an autobiography by me” stress and the only way I can get this 10 thousand pound chip of my shoulder is to, you guessed it, shop. Max out my credit card. Stop eating for a week because I needed that skirt? Ha! Of course I did, because I can control it, I can control how  I wear it (if I ever do), when I wear it and it just makes me feel in control of my life, for about a couple days until I wear it, the bliss dies and I’m left with a maxed out credit card that I have no idea how I’m going to pay back.

So, maybe you, my reader, my friend, have healthy ways of de-stressing but I don’t and my stress relief actually end up giving me more stress (like writing this article about stress, is making me stress).

Emotional? Work out until I can’t breath and begin to hate myself because I didn’t achieve to get abs on those 42 hours I was fighting with my boyfriend and lived in the gym. School? Netflix binge until I pass out sleep drunk and consider all the ways I can save the semester before the professor hands my grade back to me. Work? Pretend like nothing is wrong because you are a boss who doesn’t know what to do and is seriously freaked out about how you are going to pay the bills you don’t have with this job you don’t love. Shall I continue?

 

So, point being; I’m on my way to figuring out how to find healthy and actual working stress relief techniques that I can do from home. Techniques that empower me and make me feel like everything is ok. So, if you have ideas please feel free to comment below and I will try them.

So far, (i know, it will sound cheesy, bare with me) I have chosen to live day by day, focus on myself first, work hard, work out harder and eliminate toxic and negative energies from my life (bullies and people who just cloud your aura). Hey! I told you it was cheesy! But I think is a perfect way to start because being healthy in the inside (body and brain) and outside (body and surroundings) will make you feel overall better about yourself and thats how you start to destress by making yourself feel better and in control of your overall health!

So lets try and practice self love and figure out other amazing and actually working techniques to lower our stress levels while also helping each other grow and evolve into the person who we think we may never become but will and will exceed our expectations.

 

Why I hate to love fast fashion

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Fast fashion is the healthier clothing version of a fast food restaurant, the official slogan for this phenomenon should be “you snooze, you loose” or “first come, first serve”.  This summer we had shimmering trends, gingham, crop tops, wrap around crop tops, asymmetrical sleeves crop tops, jean skirts, hats, bandanas, scarfs, transparent heels, mules, boots, organic bikinis, reversible bikinis, high waisted shorts, body suits, almond shaped nails, kitten nails and a bunch of other trends that my brain can’t even remember.

I, a Zara aficionado, compulsive buyer, want to be millionaire and hoarder of fashion. I can’t keep up as much as I want to. First of all because my wallet does have a spending limit, even though I don’t usually see it, my credit card is maxed out and my closest needs to double in size because my clothes don’t fit anymore. I am the millennial who loves to hate fast fashion because I adore buying and buying and buying because this will look amazing, or its perfect for date night with my bae or for that concert this weekend that I never bought the tickets (Puertorrican babes, you know what’s up) or even for Sunday brunch.

I have more clothes that I could count but that’s never enough because Zara and local boutiques are basically pop up shops with limited pieces (shall we say 10 per item) that you never ever see again and hunt you till the end of time (I’m talking to you Zara). With an average price tag of $30+ and your average spending budget of $0.00 and the six pieces you desperately need, you end up spending the money you had saved up for your food splurge of the week.

Even though I love having the newest trends, looking like a 5 course dinner, lunch at Ruth Chris and brunch with bottomless mimosas  (because looking like a snack is like being the side girl, you just have it because your hungry and have cravings) I have decided to only buy necessary things that I could re-wear in a timely matter of 3-4 months? ok, weeks (except that white high waisted pant my mom bought me for Christmas that my boyfriend says its the only thing I wear) and items of clothes that are completely WORTH IT! (because that silver long – floor touching skirt I bought on Nasty Gal a year ago was totally worth it? right?) and also mostly splurge in SALES! because what’s better that seeing your online cart go from $400 to $200 in a blink of an eye? (free shipping but we can’t have it all).

But, fast fashion isn’t always the best way to go if you are an environment activist and world health and rights advocate. Consumers now spend 20% more than they did 20 years ago on clothes and one and more than 10million tons of textiles turn out on dump sites at the end of the year. The same way we care about ourselves we should care about the environment and the people in the factories who make our clothes. I am no mother teresa and you already know I kind of do have an obsession with fast fashion but I will try to change and I am hoping that you do too, because as much as I like to look good and fashionable, I love my planet and the people in it. So I urge you not to throw away clothes. Donate them, try to buy organic / recyclable materials made clothing, buy things you actually know that you are going to wear and buy from local businesses. I’m not saying we should boycott this industry, not at all, but let’s be more conscious of the decisions we make when wearing our clothing. Just like some people don’t buy real leather, skins or fur (me, because I’m broke). We can’t change the world alone, but we can help make it a little better. Even Zara has an organic line.

 

As always, with love.

 

 

How Kate Somerville’s Eradikate change my life

I, a young adult aka a millennial, spend hours and hours and hours of my life watching pointless videos on Facebook, it’s a vicious cycle really, I watch one after another after another until there aren’t anymore related videos and I jump back to the next post someone shared and the cycle starts again (this is basically my morning and night time regimen, who can’t relate, am I right?). One day, I guess it was on Facebook (and my many countless, pointless and account draining visits to Sephora, I stumbled upon the magical, clean, pretty and mystical, Kate Somerville, the dermatologist guru / wander women in real life who btw, I have dreams of meeting and having a LIFE CHANGING facial in her one and only Beverly Hills spot.

Since I don’t really care for my bank account as much as I care about my face and appearance (So hard, right?) I decided to spend the big bucks and try it out, “why not?” I said.

The zit removal miracle cream which has a bunch of science jargon that I can maybe understand but won’t get into it, clears pesky zits in DAYS! From dusk till dawn (I can’t get Zayns song out of my brain)  you can see a clear and radiant difference.

So, as a young adult suffering from period / pms acne, I was immediately SOLD! and when a brand representative who actually has met the magnificent and brilliant Kate S. came to my hometown Sephora and gave me a complimentary facial, I spent my whole pay check with her, because this shit is actual magic.

As a broke millennial I absolutely recommend to have a piggy bank for KS products because they will for real change your life.

A sales person ones told me “Your face is your business card to the world” & I will never forget it, because no one has ever said anything to me more true and honest in my whole life. So, let’s apply it!

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Products in order:

  1. https://www.sephora.com/product/eradikate-acne-treatment-P232903?skuId=1167147&icid2=products%20grid:p232903
  2. https://www.sephora.com/product/eradikate-daily-cleanser-acne-treatment-P415667?skuId=1906106&icid2=products%20grid:p415667
  3. https://www.sephora.com/product/eradikate-mask-foam-activated-acne-treatment-P393675?skuId=1694173&icid2=products%20grid:p393675

I haven’t tried #3 yet but I hear it works wanders and CANT wait to have it in my hands!

btw. This is not sponsored in any way, I wish it was because then that means KS knows about my existence and probably gives me products to try for free and that means my life is basically complete.

Dear Hurricane Irma Survivors,

This is not a letter about how lucky I feel about living in the blessed Island, although I do. This is not a letter about how we should appreciate this time to be with our families, play board games and cards, although I am. This is not a letter about how incredibly blessed I feel to have my loved ones alive and well, although I couldn’t put it into words.

This is a wake up call to all of whom are complaining about their lacking cellular reception, posting about how much it sucks that they can’t watch their T.V shows because they have to electrical power. This is a wake up call to all of those who are bragging about how good they have it with their A/C on, their laptops on Netflix and with iced water.  A wake up a call to all of whom spent money on emergency supplies which they did not use. This is not in any way about you.

This is about the families who lost everything, the homes that where destroyed and the agriculture that was lost. This is about the people who’s worst fears came true and are now alive to relive horrible nightmares for the rest of their lives. Puerto Rico, is facing a great loss in agriculture, forest life and homes and one mans life. Citizens have been left homeless in Culebra and mountain areas. We must stop being selfish and help our neighbors, help clear our streets and most of all support each other and our sister islands of the Caribbean who have had annihilating results by the passing of this “little storm”.

This is about our search and rescue team and their families who watch their loved ones go out everyday to this unforeseeable circumstances and help everyone they can. As someone who watched a loved one go out the door everyday so they can go and help people during the storm, I can tell you that it’s maybe one of the scariest feelings you will ever feel. Its about our government workers who are working endlessly to restore our electricity and water power. Its about the survivors and how they choose to help others survive.

I encourage all and everyone of us to help our own in Culebra, help our rescue team clear our streets and extend this helping hand donating as many items as we possibly can to our sister islands so we can help the surviving population have a clear and healthy start to their new future.  WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

 

Sincerely,

Someone affected by Hurricane Irma.