Thursday, January 30, 2014

simple and yummy yukon gold potatoes

I love potatoes! If I could have some at every meal I would. I am also a fan of buying organic. But let's face it, it is expensive! I also try to buy locally. However, buying locally doesn't always mean organic, and buying organic doesn't always mean local. It all can be confusing, but have no fear I have some helpful tips to navigate the organics:


  • When it comes to buying organic food, I like to follow the dirty dozen rules. It is a manageable list of items that you should (preferably) buy organic
  • At my local grocery store, they started offering organic in the generic store brand and it is a lot less expensive than the other organic brands. Look for this at your local grocery store.
  • If you cannot buy organic, buying fresh fruit and veggies is the BEST way to guarantee those good nutrients in your foods- buying frozen really reduces the nutritional content in your food.
  • Check out your local farmer's market, the produce is almost always less expensive. But if you want local and organic make sure to ask the growers and clarify!
 What you'll need for this recipe:

5 Yukon Gold potatoes cut into squares
1 white onion chopped finely
Olive Oil to drizzle potatoes
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp thyme
cracked black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste

To make:

 Pre-heat oven to 375. Mix potatoes with the onions and place on tray. Season the potatoes with all of the seasonings and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Check with your fork if the potatoes are tender, you're all set! 

Enjoy! Buen Provecho! 





Friday, January 24, 2014

Don't lose yourself.


It has been a whirlwind 9 months since our little man made his appearance into our lives. And I've got to tell you that, even before he was born, I was already trying to set up my life in a way that placed him at the center of everything. I made sure that everything was perfect, that we had enough books, that I had all of the best slings and carriers to have him close to me at all times, that our co-sleeper was at arm's reach, and that I was up to date with the latest research on raising a child.

All of these things were wonderful. But in spite of it all, I learned the hard way that I needed to shift my energy and strive to find balance. I had to learn how to let go of my tight grip on the pursuit of mothering "perfection". I had to allow myself time to pursue those things that were once life-bringing. 

Before I became a mother, I was a scholar, philosopher, student, researcher, wife, sister, friend, foodie--among some other unofficial titles. I continue to be each and every one of those things. But in the process of becoming a mother to our baby boy, I began to lose myself. In the caring of our baby, I didn't allow myself to enjoy those things that once made me so excited. In the process of caring for our babies, we run the risk of completely denying ourselves any other joyful pursuits. I was afraid that by taking some time for myself, I was neglecting our baby boy.

Guilt became a commonplace word in many of my conversations. I felt so guilty when I went away to shop on my own. I felt so guilty when I had quiet time to read a book. I felt so guilty when I asked someone to help me with Gabriel. I felt so guilty when I needed a break and was not constantly entertaining him. The Guilt list went on. 

I began to allow this guilt to affect the way that I cared for myself. My actions were affecting my marriage and my extended relationships as well. I knew that I needed to go beyond my constant focus on caring for him to my own detriment. I had to learn the difference between loving our son and wasting myself in his care. I had to allow myself that yoga class, those outings with friends, those high heels and that extended time for meditation and devotion. They are precisely the things that would help refresh me in both body and soul. In turn, I could give our son the care and love he deserves. If I did not take care of myself, I could not fully care for him.

So much of what we do as mothers becomes a delicate dance of being the best mother to our children as well as finding what renews us within.

If there is any advice that I can share to any new mother or mother-to-be, it is this: Give yourself a break. Go to the store and bust out the lipstick. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Take a step and pursue what makes you laugh. Find those connections that brighten and renew you. And for goodness sake, don't go down the guilty road; it's a dead-end. You will feel the difference, and your little one(s) will see the difference in you.

You are doing an amazing job! 

Abrazos,
Keila








Thursday, January 23, 2014

9 months



                         



Dear Gabrielito,

Happy 9 months, baby boy! I feel as if every month is going by faster and faster! And it is an exciting feeling, but at the same time it breaks my heart. I want you to grow and thrive, but the time just slips away. 

This month, it seems like you have been fine- tuning those skills that you've gained in the past few months. You pretty much get into e v e r y t h i n g. Bathroom, cupboards and anything that seems dangerous! It's amazing how you twist and turn to fit into the tiniest spaces. I have tried to baby- proof all things, but alas it's impossible to guard you from every injury. And that, I'm sure is something that I will have to accept as you get older. I just want you to know, that I will be there to help you when you do get hurt. 

You are fascinated with all of my magazines and books as well. You have succesfully ripped most of the covers off! But I am a very proud momma when you lift your books up for me to read them to you. Right now, your favorite book is Baby Faces, you sit down with your hands held together and giggle and smile while I read it. It is just about the cutest thing to watch!

You also gained two more teeth this month, for a total of 7. I just love seeing those little toofers, but the process of you getting them is my least favorite. I hope that teething gets easier for you as you get older. I love you amorsito, and I look forward to all of the new experinces coming up for you! 

Abrazos y besitos, 
Mami


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

arte and wine

I love art and I love wine. Put them together and what do you get? Probably, the most amazing little spot ever!

I went here this past weekend with my mommy friend, in one of those rare no baby boy outings. Not only was I able to grab a very spicy (how I like it) Bloody Mary, but I also painted an owl family that is currently hanging in Gabriel's room. The walls are full of gorgeous art, that serve as inspiration. And every instructor has an Art background, which comes in handy when you have a question! 

If you want something fun to do with friends in the area- check this place out.

You'll be glad you did!
Abrazos,
Keila








               


Monday, January 20, 2014

resort chic

When you live in the middle of the arctic tundra, you really have to rely on your imagination to pull you through the really cold months! Not to mention, that now is the perfect time to start planning those vacations. 

We are hoping to go to Puerto Rico and visit my family, once my husband gets a break from his last year of med-school.  So of course, I had to start envisioning some resort chic outfits that I can wear there and here too. I am really loving print pants and how versatile they can be- pair them with a bold solid and the result is a chic look!

Just imagine that all of the white snow is sand... and those pine trees are none other than coconut palm trees... BAM you're there ;)







Print Pants | Banana Republic : Similar |  Mustard Yellow Cardigan | Banana Republic : Taupe flats with gold studs | Target | Royal Blue blouse via Marshalls

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spicy Guacamole

I love avocado's and this recipe really highlights its flavor and it is full of healthy goodness! I usually bring it for potlucks and it is a huge hit every time :)

Eat it with chips-- I even spread it on toast!

You will need:

3 Avocadoes- cut into squares
1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped 
1 small white onion or red onion 
1 bushel of cilantro chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 jalapeno peppers chopped 
(add as much or as little as you'd like but two makes it pretty spicy)
salt and pepper for taste 

To make:

Just mix all of the ingredients- I don't like to mush the avocado's and instead I leave them in squares. Enjoy! 








Saturday, January 11, 2014

Second Giveaway!

I wanted to give everyone a chance to win these gorgeous earrings from Every Day Icing check them out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/everydayicingauctions or Instagram @everydayicing. 

If you do not have Instagram just comment below and you will be entered! Suerte- Good Luck! 

Abrazos, 
Keila

                      

Friday, January 10, 2014

loving right now

These are my current most coveted items this month.  After, I made the list I realized I have a sort of color theme going on. Then it hit me, I must subconsciously be thinking of the warmer, more greener months! 

Although I love a great deal as much as the next bargain hunter, I also believe that you can spend more money on great pieces that will stand the test of fashion time. 

These are the pieces that usually become the staples in your closet, and truly makes it your own. If a more expensive item ends up on my list, I wait for when I can fit it into my clothing budget, and or find the best price for it. 

But I usually cross my fingers very hard and hope it goes on sale ;)

Any item that isn't in the clothing or beauty category, I just put into to my miscellaneous budget! Budgets can really be helpful when it comes to every day expenses and truly bring peace of mind to spending and relationships. 



I hope you have a great weekend!

Abrazos, 
Keila

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup!

Sadly we've all been under the weather these past few days... which is absolutely no fun whatsoever. And I thought why not make some delicious tortilla soup to warm us up a bit?!

This recipe is a mix of some I found online and modifications I made. Which you can do as well!

 You will need:

2 chicken breast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1tsp chili powder
1tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 medium white onion chopped
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 can black beans 
1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
1 green pepper chopped
5 corn tortillas cut into strips
4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 avocado sliced for topping (if you'd like) 
(Makes about 4 bowls) 

To make: 

Preheat oven to 350. Make a rub with the cumin, salt, chili powder. Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture of seasoning. Then bake them for about 20-25 mn in the oven. 

In a pan- sauté (with tbsp olive oil) onion, tomatos, green peppers and add the cloves of garlic last. After a few minutes add the chicken broth. It should all simmer for about 10 mn. Your chicken should be done by now. Take a fork and shred it. Now place the shredded chicken in with the already simmering broth. Add the strained beans (I like to rinse the beans before I add them). 

Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste. Let that all simmer on med low for about another 10-15 mn. Taste your broth and if you want more salt add a little extra ;) 

Now add the strips of corn tortillas last along with the cilantro and let the soup settle for a bit. 

Serve with some avocados, cheese, sour cream or whatever you'd like and Enjoy :)

Buen Provecho!



                            



Sunday, January 05, 2014

Go Bold!

I love mixing patterns and finding new ways to style my clothes. Mixing patterns is pretty simple, you simply stay within the same color palette in each piece (regardless of the pattern). It is a great way to completely transform the look of a specific piece and get more mileage out of it. And you've probably already noticed that I love getting the most out of my clothes!

So I was very excited when I read in my Vogue mag that bold primary colors are here to stay. And if says it in there than it has to be right ;) But in all honesty a bold blazer can really add a fun touch to any outfit. And what's even better about them, is that you aren't limited to only dressier options. Pair it with a pair of skinnies and you are good to go! 

I scored this striped skirt a couple of weeks back on sale at Banana Republic and paired it with this great black and white patterned shirt from Marshalls. This royal blue blazer added a great contrast and it proves the idea that primary colors are here to stay-- I've had this blazer for 3 years now! The coral necklace goes well because it compliments the royal blue and it adds a fun touch.

 Go ahead and Go Bold-- I promise you'll look fabulous.

Abrazos,
Keila




Striped Skirt | Banana Republic : Similar | Royal Blue Blazer | New York and Company : Similar | Pumps | Nine West : Lips MAC : Dangerous in Matte

Thursday, January 02, 2014

hair therapy

I remember the first time I straightened my hair with a relaxer. I was 11- years- old, and I begged my Mom to buy me one. I remember looking at all of the Pantene commercials and how the model's long, silky, and perfect tresses shined behind the camera.The model would whip her hair and it was breathtakingly beautiful and perfect. I didn't know it at the time, but these commercials and advertising images were what defined my idea of beauty. 

Sadly, in my own culture this image of ideal beauty was (and continues to be) supported and propagated by the majority of people. I had what most would define as pelo malo or "bad hair." This loathing for natural hair went beyond my simple desire to change my look. It originated with my culture's own biases against our Afro-heritage and the deep-rooted prejudice against looking this way.

I will never forget the smell of my hair after I straightened it for the first time. It was mix of synthetic plastic and rubber. My once bouncy and shiny curls were replaced with long limp strands of wavy hair, and I couldn't have been happier. It wasn't (and still is not) uncommon for women to go great lengths to straighten and maintain their straight hair. Relaxers, straightening irons, blow dryers, heat treatments-- anything to maintain the perfect ideal beauty. Refusing to go out in the rain or work-out to help maintain this ideal was and is never questioned. At times, I would sleep with my hair wrapped in bobby pins and a scarf in hopes to wake up with my own perfect tresses.

It is hard to believe that I continued to straighten my hair for another 15 years. It wasn't until my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) saw me for the first time with my hair wet and curly. I remember making excuses and apologizing for my messy look. He was shocked and could not believe my hair was naturally curly. His next words truly impacted my attitude toward my natural hair. He looked at me and asked, "Why on earth would you go through all the trouble of straightening your beautiful curly hair?"

What?! My natural kinky curls are beautiful? I could not believe that he said that and was as shocked as he was. That comment moved me enough to begin my natural hair journey and stop straightening my hair. Almost three years later, here I am with my natural hair, several inches longer and the healthiest it has ever been. The transition has not been easy. I have shed tears and felt anxiety leaving the house for an event with my wonky curls that hadn't quite gone back to normal. But I have also felt joy once my hair grew past my shoulders.

Now that our family is expanding and our children could potentially have my type of hair, I am prepared to share my story with them. Our society has defined beauty, gender roles and perfection in a certain way and it will take some time for those attitudes to change. However, we can begin that change with how we choose to act and teach our children. We have the unique opportunity to influence a generation of new people and nurture them to embrace who they are as unique individuals. 

I am in a continual journey to grow and embrace my kinky curls. They may not look like the Pantene commercials I remember, but they are my own kind of beautiful. I no longer have pelo malo but pelo bello-- beautiful hair.

Abrazos,
Keila