To Nap or

It makes me very sad to know that there are people out there who struggle with sleep. Our sleep is essential for our overall health. You need to give your body & mind time to relax and recharge. Studies show that getting 7 to 8 hours of regular nighttime sleep is best for maintaining good health.1 But what happens when you don’t get a good night’s sleep and find yourself tired during the day? Or you have a lifestyle or work schedule that keeps you up at night and requires daytime sleep?

Dennis Hwang, MD, medical director at Kaiser Permanente’s Sleep Center in San Bernardino County, California, shares tips on when to try napping or other relaxation techniques.

Tips on napping

  • Know if napping is right for you — “Every person is different. If someone finds that the occasional nap helps them feel better, then napping might work for that person,” explains Dr. Hwang. “But if someone has a sleep disorder like insomnia, I advise they try to avoid naps so they can sleep better at night.”
  • Time it halfway through your day — If you’re going to nap, it’s a good idea to plan it for halfway through your day, between the time you wake up and the time you usually go to bed. If you wake up at 6 a.m. and plan to go to bed at 10 p.m., your halfway point is 2 p.m. Napping any later in the day could disrupt your ability to fall asleep at night. “Because of our circadian rhythms, our brain naturally has a dip in energy and performance around 2 to 3 p.m.,” says Dr. Hwang. “So, this is a good time for a short nap, if you need one.” Also, keep in mind that if this time falls during your regular work hours, you may want to plan your breaks and lunch hour so it makes sense for your schedule.
  • Create a calm space — Just as you might prepare for better sleep at night, you can try the same habits for a midday nap. A cooler room can help you fall asleep. Or listening to soothing music can help with relaxation. There are many calming techniques and guided activities you can try for better sleep.
  • Set an alarm for a short period — How long you snooze makes a difference in how you feel when you wake up. “To avoid entering a deep sleep, set an alarm for 20 minutes. However, up to 30 minutes is fine,” says Dr. Hwang.

Napping to relieve stress — and other relaxation techniques

There are many reasons why we may feel tired or stressed throughout the day. A recent study showed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s sleep patterns and emotional well-being were negatively impacted — and that daytime napping helped relieve stress and stabilize sleep patterns.3

Knowing that a nap can help our mental state could mean it’s worth a try when you’re feeling stress or anxiety. Dr. Hwang says other relaxation techniques like mindfulness and meditation can also help to calm your mind. “There are benefits to all relaxation practices, you just need to find what works for you.”

Credit: Kaiser Permanente Health

Timeless

The best way to have great style on a budget is to create a capsule wardrobe. Classic items that work together in any number of combinations. Pieces that can take you from work to play. You take the guesswork out of getting dressed and thus prevent from being overwhelmed. The best is that it is a sustainable option that will last for years. 

Purchase a button-up shirt. They do not have to be corporate uniforms. This shirt can be worked so versatile for an endless amount of looks. 

Jeans, these were created as work pants, and have become the casual wardrobe staple. It’s best to invest in well-made jeans and keep them slimmer fit for more options on styling. A staple that is not going out of style. 

The motorcycle jacket is not only for punk rock kids but it is universally loved. A well-made motorcycle jacket adds a timeless fashion edge to your wardrobe. 

A tailored made/or altered to your measurement suit. You will need it. You can wear the pants and jacket separately to make the most out of your investment. The suit is not only timeless, chic but also for all genders. 

Style for me is when you no longer care about being cool. Doing you is timeless and no one can copy that. 

If fashion that does not reflect the times is not fashion & always remember that fashion embraces the weirdos. Do not be afraid to be you!

Real Story

When my Dad worked creating custom clothes, he updated and remade pieces for his clients. The final product, each was unique. The day I fell in love with style was when I would see my father prepare custom looks for his clients. Designer expensive items, second-hand treasures, and even generic brands were all transformed into one-of-a-kind pieces.

I began experimenting in the 90s- For me being able to choose my style was a sign of independence, identity, I see style as important for mood changing and armor for battle or inspiration.

I represent being an immigrant, a woman, an entrepreneur, a dreamer, and nothing stops me! The impact of style was huge in my life, so I know that I can help guide others to find their own empowerment. Giving people the tools, tricks, and tips to make the most out of their closet for any budget and staying green is a huge plus.

Punked!

Punk style morphed in the late 70s and early 80s, from safety pins and neon mohair sweaters to a sampling of eighteenth and 19th century styles including lace, corsets, and Victorian mourning attire. The evolution of punk in fashion has been going non-stop with the use of studded leather, slashed tops, clunky cool footwear and savage accessories. If punk style had rules, it would not be punk.

Favorite Punk designers:

https://www.viviennewestwood.com/en/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtpGGBhBJEiwAyRZX2h4JDeSGsx1uvX1NxY6c3ohrTO3ccgb4fkTlx6dExqE46I_RT9Ts9RoC_acQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

You can do It!

As a work-a-holic who suffers from anxiety, stress and major O.C.D. (nor relies on caffeine to get through the day), I would like to share some life hacks that work for me.

If you want to get in a nice work out in the morning, I suggest to have your clothes laid out in plain sight, this way you train your mind how you should start the day.

Create a list, either write it down or digital reminder. When you have a list to tackle, it creates gratification or feeling of accomplishment once you finish a task at a time. Do not burn yourself out, even finishing one a day is a huge step in getting all the clutter in our mind cleared and organized.

To avoid an afternoon crash, avoid sugar in the morning. I know you cannot live without the crack, but try an alternative for the morning routine and you can have your coffee in the afternoon to finish the day strong & for that boost to help you get there.

Water, drink it! In the morning you’re naturally dehydrated, get as much water in your system. Also drinking water plus eating protein can help you suppress your appetite and focus more on the tasks at hand.

Rather than going to your phone and scroll away, tackle down the most important tasks of the day first. You stay on track and not get easily distracted or disturbed (depending on your feed).

If you are used to hitting the snooze button on your alarm, make it impossible to do so by placing your alarm on the other side of the room instead of next to your bed. In order to stay out of bed, make your bed as soon as you wake up. This way you are committing mentally to not returning to bed.

Meditate or also deep breathing helps to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, lowers your heart rate and stress levels. If you want to really go into this great habit, start a yoga routine!

It happened to Rihanna!

Ever had to pivot? Start over? Sometimes things that are out of our control will happen and there is nothing that we can do about it except regroup and figure out the next step.

As an independent brand, I have gone through this a few times myself and it never gets easy. It is a heartbreak that makes me feel as if I am doing something wrong. The thought of failure comes to mind and I begin to doubt my talent, voice and direction all together. It is not easy to pick yourself up when plans fall through. Fortunately we are human, these feelings are valid but what we cannot allow ourselves is to stay in that negative mind state. We have to just make peace with the fact that when things don’t go according to plan, it does not mean that it is our fault completely, but circumstances just happen and we have to learn to roll with the punches.

The talented, famous and style icon Rihanna had plans to launch a ready-to-wear line when her company Fenty partnered with Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. They released a statement that when there are better conditions the line will be re-visited for a later launch.

Covid in the year 2020 placed a lot of people out of a job, cancelled plans and forced every single person to re-visit their original life plans. The testament of the population of entrepreneurs who not only survived but thrived during a global pandemic, where no one was safe is something to applaud. Parents had to adjust their home as a work place & even school. Folks who were laid off started new businesses, learned new skills & looked to different places to start over. The message here is don’t give up. The road may get tough but the human spirit has proven time and time again that we are tougher as long as we are not so hard on ourselves. Give yourself a break, take some time to self care and then get ready to tackle this world once more. You can do it, nothing is ever really a failure but lessons to grow and restart. You are worthy of your potential and just so you know, it happened to Rihanna!

Financially Stylish

The best of both worlds…to be stylish and do it while shopping smart.

One of the first tips is to keep your closet organized, this way you can see all your clothes, accessories and shoes you have available.  Sometimes we have items out of sight (out of mind) which can lead to duplicate purchase or having similar items in your wardrobe. 

You also want to get the most bang for your buck out of your wardrobe, which can sometimes mean spending a little more.  For example, if you spend more on a pair of jeans that you will probably wear everyday, you get more mileage out of them then let’s say a clearance dress for sale at $50.00 which you will only wear once. 

Think about outfits that you can wear for multiple occasions, like work, school and social events, just by pairing them with the right shoes and/or accessories.  You may want to spend a little more on the items that you plan on wearing more, it makes more sense to spend a little more on the right jacket, pants, and even a dress depending on how many times you can get away with sporting it accordingly. 

Another item that you do not need to spend too much money is on accessories, jewelry. Try sticking with costume/fashion jewelry that you can wear a few times and get your money’s worth out of them.  You may want to splurge on a nice watch, stud earrings or even a ring that you can use for your everyday wear, but to definitely have some fun with jewelry change the look of items you already own, this also includes having fun with scarves, glasses, and hats. If you have a limited budget, spend it on accessories- cool shoes, interesting jewelry can elevate your look. Accessories, the key to making a smaller closet appear much larger than it is.

If you need basics, you should skip the high-end labels and stick with more affordable options, for example when wearing a colorful dress, grab gold jewelry for a touch of fanciness that won’t compete with the pretty colors or prints.  

An item you shouldn’t be without, a go-to party dress- a silhouette with a low or sweetheart neckline and 50’s feel is perfect.

TIPS: Plan your wardrobe : to save money figure out which pieces you need for your lifestyle and then shop the sales to find them. You will avoid having a closet full of stuff that you only wear once.

TIPS: You dont have to spend a fortune : a fake fur neckpiece looks remarkably real. A faux crocodile bag costs a fraction of the real thing.

Take a high fashion approach to lower priced clothing – It’s more about maintaining an attitude about style than spending a lot of cash.

You want Hermes?

Accessories have always been the icing on the cake when it comes to styling your complete outfit. If you are more on the classic chic side, you still use accessories such as a belt and a wallet/purse.

Some of us love to throw on for example a scarf, ring, earrings, broach, bracelet, watch, hair adornment and now masks.

You can purchase your generic items from a big reseller or you can spend a few more dollars (Not even a lot, just a few) and support your local economy look fabulous. These artisans create one-of-a-kind items that range from clay, resin to upcycled jewelry. You can find many uses from just one piece like a hair flower that can be used as a broach or a purse accent.

Why blend in? You’re style is unique & your accessories should match the essence of your individuality. People pay ridiculous amounts of money and wait for a very long time for hand crafted items from Hermes because they see the value in the craftmanship and special pieces. They may be the popular hand crafting brand but they are not the only one or the best.

Here are some brands to look into: @CeciPunch, @NativeChicanaJewelry, @ComeHitherbyCece, @CraftyFrida & @Niccococreations.

Braid-i Bunch!

It is said that “Braiding started in Africa with the Himba people of Namibia,”. Where I come from the Quechua are a group of indigenous people and in Peru, one of the most significant aspects of the Quechua woman’s look and culture is her hair. Native women of all ages wear long braids which represents more than a hairstyle; for example two braids signify the marital status of Peruvian women.

Buns and braids aren’t mutually exclusive looks. To rock a braided bun pull your hair back into a ponytail on the middle of your head. Then braid the ponytail before wrapping it up into a bun!

Braids are an incredibly popular and versatile hairstyle. You can easily create the right braid to match the look you’re going for, regardless of what kind of style you want to achieve. From a simple to truly unique designs, there are dozens of braids you can try out for any occasion.

@Hairchameleon AKA Nicole Bellows is an expert hair stylist. 
“Braiding inspires me because such a simple thing can be turned into an elegant style. I love how a Simple 3 strand braid can be pancaked (pulled out) for more texture and a fuller style. A simple hack to pancake a braid is to pull up towards the scalp not out. Start braiding and once you have about a 1/4th of your strand done, start to pancake at that time then finish the braid and pancake the rest. If you finish the braid completely first it becomes harder to pull out and looks messier.”

Expo Fashion, Art & Music

Fashion shows are back ! Covid put the entire world on notice that at any moment everything that we know can suddenly change. The history of our planet has always focused on how adaptation is the key to survival, this we must never forget. More than ever businesses relied on ecommerce, shipping and virtual events. The fashion industry feeds on energy. Fashion is not just the clothes we wear but a reflection of the culture, changing times, revolution and innovation. 2021 things are slowly turning around and as the numbers of infections decrease we are being slowly allowed to return to our “new normal”.

I have missed fashion week events. The production of a fashion event is just that, a production. You need a team in order to get the location, permits, participating brands, schedule of events, DJ, media, security, designers, models, staff & accommodations in order to present a visually attractive experience. Unless you have worked an event, you learn to appreciate a well managed expo. Blanca of Productions BV produced the event in February. The location was a Rancho setting that was very romantic. Red rose arrangements adorned the hacienda creating a rich setting of colors and volume inside the shopping center and the runway stage. These independent brands came to slay. These set ups were beautifully executed which made navigating each table fun and exciting to see what each brand had to offer. The music was upbeat, the guests came in their very best looks and did not let some low temperatures stop them.

The well organized evening made a very smooth transition from shopping to motivational speakers and finally ending the night with an eclectic runway displaying streetwear by My Generation , ready to wear by Designer Oseas Villatoro & Criseida Couture with closing by evening wear designs from Anna Gupta Official. A special shout out to the host Christy Anne Lopez & entertainment by Stephanie Sical who kept us engaged throughout the evening. In the time of a pandemic what we could take away from this lovely event was the social distance measures, masks, sanitizing stations and crowd control in an outdoor setting. They pulled it off and although it may not seem as an essential activity to most, for us creatives it was a very needed time to come together and support one another after a year of uncertainty, fear and heartbreak on every level.

Mental illness suffering is on the rise and we have to do what we can to stay positive and motivated in a responsible way. I cannot wait to see what other events Productions BV puts together in the future. Nothing lasts forever, which includes pandemics. I promise we will be out of the woods soon & get back to doing things we love, of course now we just take extra preventative measures so that we keep everyone safe in order to continue to create no matter what the world throws our way.

IG: expo_events_

Show Love to Small Businesses!

More than ever it is important to support local, small businesses. Independent brands are facing tough times and a lot of them have to close their doors for a while many may not reopen. 

Support local businesses by choosing them over nationwide chains. Find out if they sell gift cards, offer delivery services or have an online shop. 

If you do not know any local entrepreneurs, ask your friends and family for recommendations and share the love as well by also spreading the news. You can also support your local vendors from the comfort of your own home by following. Sharing and commenting on their social media. 

What I love is that our shop is staying green by only making products as a made to service request. We only create products that were actually bought and this is a step towards more sustainable fashion production. Too many retail items of overstock end up in landfills. 

The ink used for print is water based for DTG. 

The purpose of zero waste movement is to redesign the way we use products whether it’s repairing instead of replacing, repurposing instead of throwing away and buying items with biodegradable or no packaging and leading a minimalist lifestyle so that no waste ends up in landfills.

Brand Review: Pearlle Lingerie

It is 2021 and what’s hot on the runways are intimate wear! I have been wearing pieces from Pearlle and I have fallen in love with their designs. They have some great bralette pieces that are not only sexy but can be styled for any occasion. 

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I styled the pieces for a poolside shoot titled “Dark Summer”. The pieces were perfect to create this hot summer look.

If you are chillin and want to spice up your outfit, I used these two pieces to wear with some overalls and a pencil skirt and I loved the final result.

Feeling bossy? Step up your look with a nice blazer, chic pants, belt and staple bra piece as a peek-a-boo effect.

Shop for your favorite piece now!

Check out Spring 2021 runways and get inspired to spice up your Spring look!

Green is the new black

How to recycle your old clothes!

Sustainable fashion needs to be talked about more than the season’s trends. I have been doing my part by creating new items out of old fabrics. Upcycling is something I have been researching for a few years and I want to share some very important information. 

Upcycled

I hope that you are inspired by the movement and together we can make a difference for the planet. 

It takes 75 lbs of CO2e to produce the average pair of jeans. 700 gallons of water to make one new T-shirt. 1-2 people are throwing their unwanted clothes straight in the trash. The result is 64% of the 32B garments produced each year end up in landfills. The average American throws away 80 lbs of textiles in a year. We are all guilty of this. 

Companies that are fighting the impact of pollution are The North Face, they upcycle their returned garments and gear. They also give you a $10 credit and their renewed itmes come with a one year warranty. Check out https://www.thenorthface.com/about-us/responsibility/product/renewed.html

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Patagonia takes back gently used apparel and give you credit in return and you can return items at the store or via mail. For more information check out: https://wornwear.patagonia.com/

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REI is offering used outdoor clothing and gear with their trade-in program. Please check out the link and if you are accepted, you get 20% off your items at retail price. https://www.rei.com/used/trade-it-in

Levi’s works with a denim recycling from cotton and will take back denim in any brand and give you 20% off one item in return. https://bluejeansgogreen.org/

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H&M has recycle boxes in their stores for easy textile recycling of any brand of clothing and condition. Be mindful to not donate anything moldy, dirty or wet. Although this company is #1 in fast fashion, they are making up for it by implementing these sustainable practices and issue a sustainability performance report.

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When it comes to used underwear, Knickey will send you a label to send your old socks, tights, bras, & underwear. They in turn take the items and make insulation, rug pads, rags and you can get a pair of underwear in your next order with the company. https://knickey.com/pages/recycle

How about swimsuits? you can send them to Fair Harbor and you can check out their site for more information and request a label https://www.fairharborclothing.com/pages/round-trip-initiative

How about your old athletic shoes? Nike has a program as well where they turn your old shoes into new products. https://www.nike.com/help/a/recycle-shoes

How about sweaters? this company turns your old sweaters into hats, mittens and scarves. https://lovewoolies.com/pages/donate-sweaters

Lastly, you can turn the items you no longer want to keep into cash, sending them to places like ThredUp, or listing them on Poshmark, LetGo, Etc. The favorite and less hassle option for me is ThredUp check them out: https://www.thredup.com/ – “Feel good about releasing your unwanted clothes to thrifters who will love them.”

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