This Month’s Picks: January 2017

By: Gabriela Yareliz

The month isn’t over, but it has been an eventful month. I thought I would share about all the neat stuff I have discovered recently, and things I am using to help me as I strive to make 2017 a better year than 2016. (None of this is sponsored, I am just sharing the goods).

1] ABC’s Blackish: Lemons (S3 Ep12)

An episode about healing a nation, post-election. It was fair, well-rounded and educational. Most importantly, it came from a  minority voice. It’s about a system that hasn’t helped most minorities regardless of administration or party in power.

“I love this country even though at times, it doesn’t love me back. For my whole life, my parents, my grandparents, me, for most black people, this system has never worked for us. But we still played ball. Tried to do our best to live by the rules, even though we knew they would never work out in our favor. Had to live in neighborhoods you wouldn’t drive through; send our kids to schools with books so beat up you couldn’t read them; work jobs that you wouldn’t even consider in your nightmares. Black people wake up every day believing that our lives are gonna change, even though everything around us says it’s not. Truth be told, you ask most black people, and they tell you that no matter who won this election, they didn’t expect the hood to get better, but they still voted because that is what you are supposed to do… I am used to things not going my way, and I am sorry you’re not and that it’s blowing your mind. So excuse me if I get a little offended because I didn’t see all of this outrage when everything was happening to all of my people, since we were stuffed on boats in chains.” Dre

2] Bed Head Superstar Blowdry Lotion

I got in at a super sale at TJ Maxx. I used it to blow dry my hair and got a lot of compliments. For those of you who like the big hair. #ThatShahLife

3] H2O + face OASIS Ultra Hydrator

It was my goal to stop using Proactiv (which worked for me for years, but after my skin changed, it just caused my skin to burn and peel). I needed a new game plan. I wanted something hydrating and not heavy on chemicals. I found this great hydrator that uses marine plants to hydrate and change the skin.

I have been using it for two months now, and my skin looks a lot better. I was inspired by a talk I heard about skin being an organ you can heal and restore. I am a believer.

4] Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Boosting Mist

It was a gift from my brother. It keeps eyeliner from melting and makeup in place, all day.

5] Welleco Super Elixir Alkalizing Greens

I was looking for a supplement that had a power pack of iron and other nutrients.

I heard about Welleco on my way to a doctor’s visit (one of the many, this month) on Garance Dore’s Pardon My French podcast.

6] Series Finale of Girl Meets World

It was everything Boy Meets World fans could have hoped for. Because some love stories need to be immortalized.

 

Come Walk With Me: Ponce

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

We visited the Castillo Serralles, the plaza, and we strolled around as the sun was setting. The sky turned a beautiful, bright cobalt blue. Near the plaza, there was the best little ice cream shop, with natural fruit ice creams (I got guanabana). Also near the plaza, is the best souvenir shop I saw on the whole island, with a rare selection of bumper stickers. My boyfriend was collecting the stickers of all the towns and country roads we survived (those roads are so curvy and high up on cliffs that the word of choice “survived” is actually appropriate and not dramatic).

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The plaza:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Castillo Serralles: photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

It was a quiet kind of a night. The sky glowed blue and the bright lights glowed white. The second largest city on the island was sleepy, and the only people out were sitting at corners conversing, where we would stop and ask for directions to our next destination.

Relationship Building

[Image from GQ]

By: Gabriela Yareliz

A note taken from Chrissy Teigen and John Legend:

Can we admit that Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are an amazing pair and hilarious couple? Their chemistry; their banter; their sense of humor. More than a couple; they are a marriage.

They are very much a golden marriage, and yet I was thinking that we see them in all their glory (as we often see other couples). We see them from the only perspective we have– the outside.

Chrissy likes to share, and in past years, she has shared details about her relationship with John that I thought were interesting.

When we look at them now, we don’t see the moment when John tried to break up with Chrissy because he didn’t feel ready to be in a relationship.

We don’t see them when they suffered because of the distance between them.
We don’t see Chrissy when she wants to argue and John “de-escalates” her, as she said in an interview once. He apparently knows how to soothe her and disarm her.

We don’t see them discuss the fact that Chrissy doesn’t want John having other music “video hoes” featured (her words, not mine). She admitted this was a sore issue spot that they were still working through. They have implied they go to therapy.

[For Gotham Magazine]

I really like Chrissy Teigen. She is vocal, feisty, funny and strong.  She has her own thing going on, and if you have heard and watched the “All of Me” music video, it’s clear her husband adores her. Because even when he is losing, he is winning (the best lyrics ever).

I think what most of us like about her is that she is real (she shows us photos of her stretch marks, for crying out loud), and in interviews she has given us a glimpse into hers and John’s relationship. It’s a relationship that we see shine, and still, she importantly reminds us how much work goes into a relationship.

Relationships are hard work.

[Image from Popsugar]

[Image from Refinery29]

When two people come together, it’s two worlds. It’s each person adopting what is important to the other. This takes words and actions. It’s both people taking time they would have dedicated to themselves or their pre-relationship routine and making it a time of building a new life or routine. It’s about mixing two worlds and having important people on both sides meet each other. It’s about mixing two worlds and retaining who you are, while also compromising at times.
It’s about bringing up sore issue spots and finding solutions. It’s about respect. It’s time and lots of communication. It’s commitment.

It’s all of that, and let’s not forget, some magic. Because where there is love, inevitably, there is magic. It’s the magic that shines through and makes all the hard work worth it.

[Image from Style Caster]

Come Walk With Me: El Yunque, Part II

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

So, we were walking mid-rainforest, getting ready to walk to the last and biggest waterfall, when the downpour started. Typical rainforest rain, I suppose. It would not let up. The stone steps that lead to the waterfall were slippery. I ended up slipping on one, on the way back. I have a nice souvenir scar!

We enjoyed the rainforest in its natural element. We were soaked, and the forest was alive.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Come Walk With Me: El Yunque

(A view from the top of the tower, below)

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Hiking in the rainforest is not something you do every day. The whole family came dressed for adventure, and oddly not for rain (except for Ignacio, who busted out an umbrella, from his pocket). These are some snaps, pre-downpour.

It’s an enchanting forest, filled with plenty of little green details. We didn’t really see birds, but there was an incredible variety of plants.

There is a nice video at the welcome center that explains the significance of El Yunque and the research done there. I really think the welcome desk guy told us to watch the video so he could get his 5 minutes of fame (the old man is in the video).  He wouldn’t give us a map until we watched it. *rolling of the eyes*

Anyway, I digress…

The rainbow tree:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

 

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Me, posing and trying to make sure I don’t slip, fall and roll down the mountain.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

A view from the tower:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The family, crossing the bridge:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Moist, green details.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Come Walk With Me: Vieques

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Early in the morning, we split up and stood in two separate lines. One line was for the island of Culebra, and the other line was for the island of Vieques. There was only one boat going to each island (ridiculous, I know), and so at that point, we had a better chance of getting into Vieques, despite having woken up at like 5 am.  Both are famous for their fabulous beaches.

Ultimately, the line for Culebra was closed, and they disbanded the line after the amount of people that would fit in the boat, and we got our tickets to Vieques.

We got on a boat more unstable than a Disney World raft. We all thought the ride would be quick and painless. Some fell asleep and others ended up crouched over with our heads in our hands. I usually do not succumb to nausea easily, but when the man with the barf bags came around, I raised my hand. I felt queasy. I thought for sure I would be wearing food by the time we arrived. The trip was ETERNAL. It was a bunch of us tourists, dressed for the beach, and one man wearing a suit.

When we arrived, we found a place to eat breakfast (almost all of the places were closed). We waited for another eternity (the island moves slow). A Puerto Rican Olympian ate breakfast a couple of tables away from us.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz (Taken by AZ)

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz (Taken by AZ)

We then needed to discover a way to get to the beach on the other side of the island. We found a man in a white van; we hopped into his car without too many questions, and he took us to “Red Beach.” We went as far as giving the driver our tickets to see if he could change the return boat time to a later time, so that we could enjoy the beach and island a little longer (given that our breakfast took forever). He agreed, though one person in our group thought for sure he would take our tickets, and we would never see him again.

We enjoyed our swim. We even swam with fish! Our driver came back to pick us up (and yes, he brought our tickets back). We orchestrated elaborate change stations with towels, and changed in the parking lot (the driver doesn’t allow wet people in his van).

We explored the lighthouse before our boat came. Everything on the island was closed by 3 pm. Somehow, we found a bodega open, and one of the women made iced coffee as if it was some kind of science experiment.The boat came late. Riding back on that boat was torture. We were all laying on each other, hands over mouth, praying not to projectile vomit all over the place.

When my feet hit dry land, it was such a relief.

We had a lovely time in Vieques, but next time, we fly there. The boat experience is a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Come Walk With Me: San German

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It was a quick stop, filled with old world charm.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz