Love Yourself


The day I hit rock bottom was a weekday. I finally woke up after hitting the snooze button every ten minutes… consecutively… for an hour. I opened my eyes and thought to myself, “If I can manage to get ready in five minutes, I will only be fifteen minutes late for work”. But I could not get my legs and arms to move as quickly as my mind. Like anvils weighing me down, I couldn’t get my legs to move at all. In fact, I was nearly catatonic. That day, my husband showered me, dressed me, and drove me to work. I didn’t even have the energy to feel embarrassed about that. At work, I couldn’t explain that for weeks, I had suddenly began experiencing panic attacks in social situations. The way I couldn’t explain or my tardiness that day. Or, worse yet, I couldn’t explain that the reason I looked like I had been hit by a Mack truck was because I had been dressed by a boy. That was the day I resolved to seek medical attention. The diagnosis: stress.

Show Love Every Day

Love Locks Brooklyn Bridge

I have always considered myself to be a romantic. An overly idealistic romantic with expectations that would rival any love story à la Nicholas Sparks. Adele’s When We Were Young comes on the radio while I am driving and it’s as if the world stops. I am immediately transported into a dream world full of meet cutes and tragic love affairs.

In spite of my overly romanticized views of love, I have always felt that falling in love is a continuous action. One that should continue to happen in small ways every single day. See, grand gestures will conquer the heart, but smaller gestures are the ones that nurture the love. So, for a change, I will challenge you to think of ways you can show love every single day. For a little assistance, I have compiled a list of some ways I love to feel loved every day:

Inspirational Women in Their Thirties | Evi Simjan

Black Pumps Miami Design District

A few months ago, my mother, sister, and I were getting ready for an event at our hotel room. My niece was stumbling around barefoot, becoming comfortable with her own legs. I turn around and see my mom wearing my red suede lace-up stilettos with the four inch heels. My sister and I could not help but burst out laughing in tears as my mom modeled for us. Something about a woman her age wearing bright red pointed shoes of that height was shocking. As if on cue, my niece tumbles and my mom takes my shoes off her feet and rushes to her side. And just like that, she has retired her heels whereas my niece still has the world at her feet.

Food Tour Miami

I love a good story, especially when that story comes with the disclaimer “based on real events”, that is the butter on the popcorn.

Enter Faruk Bishevac of Food Tours in Miami, a true Miami researcher and semi-historian in his own right. Armed with old photographs of Miami Beach, connections to the yummiest local spots, and enough knowledge of South Beach’s History to stump even the nosiest busybody most curious tourist, Faruk walked us through the Art Deco lined streets and truly lectured on this food tour. Taking breaks in between multi-cultural meals and clever photo ops, we ended up tasting foods from four different countries which have influenced Miami’s cuisine at five of South Beach’s best restaurants.

Here were my top five moments on the tour:

Serene in 2016

Color of the Year 2016Many times, the year 2015 felt as though the world was coming up for air. The overall mood was often fast, chaotic, and overwhelming. Personally, if I had to describe my mood in 2015 I would say it felt as though I were having a 365 day panic attack. This mood was self-imposed at times, other times as a side-effect of the detriment of the society in which live. Like many, I have come to realize that I need to create a different approach. Therefore, while many were popping champagne and setting themselves up for failure in the form of euphoric resolutions, I have been working on welcoming a more tranquil and serene beginning.

Dysfunctional Dinners

 ID 52024121 © Everett Collection Inc. | I get the call and immediately know the direction my day is headed. The call explaining that I have been designated the point of contact on a family member’s dossier because he has been summoned to court and has yet to appear. Immediately, I am taken back to the days I wore sparkly dresses in which I could twirl and patent leather shoes that were scuffed and too tight. I am taken back to the times we all fit around a dinner table in a house that couldn’t fit our dreams. The days my mother could throw a handful of flour and some water in a bowl but could never make the formula pliable; it was either too thick or too thin but it would never hold.

Detox Tips

Whether it’s complex carbs or a complex relationship, we all have at least one unhealthy habit we want or should detox from. ­­The problem is, we become addicted when our emotions are involved, and it is therefore much harder to let go. It doesn’t matter if the thing you want to give up is as ugly as biting your nails or as appealing as calling your ex, it is something felt so deep in your body and soul you can’t simply quit just because you are aware with all reason that it is wrong for you. It takes a lot more effort and intent than that.

Acudiendo a Pueblos Pequeños

Suwanne RiverMe encantan los pueblos pequeños.

Habiendo nacido en una gran ciudad y después habiéndome criado en una que era el doble de la anterior, me considero una chica de ciudad. Para mi es irresistible el insomnio, la fama, o el esplendor de una gran ciudad. Vagando por calles tan transitadas que existen patrones de tráfico hasta para caminar por la acera, siento que no soy más que una motita flotando sin rumbo, y me pierdo. Las cornetas de los autos en unísono con el escape de un autobús, conversaciones plurilingües, y una sirena policial en la lejanía, ahogan por completo mis pensamientos, y me pierdo. Admirando, en la anonimidad del día a día, la arquitectura que por ser más vieja y mejor diseñada es más notoria que yo, me pierdo. Conozco bien la ciudad, a ella voy para perderme.

It’s that time of year when that warm breeze brings in the smell of toxic spray paint and the white tents start adorning our Miami Skyline. Art Basel 2015, its consequent art related events, and satellite fairs, promise to be an amazing opportunity for personal growth. And, as always the art promises to inspire. When done right, Art Week in Miami can set in motion enough inspiration to fuel your creativity well into next year. However, aging past my 20s and the naïveté of the past, I am well aware that I am no longer the artsy bohemian girl from my college days. With maturity comes a refined taste in art and art-inspired events. If, like me, you are just beginning to accept this paradigm shift in your own culture without forgoing on this quintessential week in Miami’s culture, then what follows is a comprehensive list of tips for surviving Miami Art Week during Art Basel (bah-zil) even in your thirties.

  1. If you can’t stand the heatThe fact is, artists have always been known to travel less conventional roads in order to push the limits of art as we know it. Miami Art Week is the annual culmination of year-long button pushing. If you are easily offended, squeamish, or overly conservative then you may find that many of the artists will challenge you to come out of your comfort zone. If it gets to be too unbearable, simply walk away. You need not stand in front of a live art performance piece rolling your eyes bringing everyone down with your intolerance, just move on and take your judgmental glares with you.
  1. Reserve your critiques and commentaries for your partner, blog, or self. You may not realize that an artist is within an earshot of you when you decide to compare a work of art to your toddler’s affinity for playing with their own feces. Part of your narrow artistic vision may stem from the fact that you have become so impatient with your own child’s unsolicited works of art that it may have affected your threshold for questionably abstract pieces. This does not give you permission to trash others’ artistic expressions the way you do your child’s. Instead, be mindful that art enthusiasts will surround you and most do not appreciate being belittled. And if you are the artist, take those opinions with a grain of salt on the brim of a carefully crafted complimentary cocktail, and indulge in this expertly curated experience.
  1. Up your fashion game. This one is hard for me, as you may have read about here and here. However, most people in Miami who aren’t as challenged as I am in this department recognize that fashion is one of the oldest art forms. In fact, many of the events in and around Art Basel are fashion related and there are going to be plenty of photo ops. Stick to solids so that in photographs you are not an eyesore that can eventually be edited out. Think about ways you can enhance the art instead of compete with it and then intentionally dress accordingly.
  1. When in doubt, accessorize with intellect. If you find that the advice above is a tough pill to swallow then just stick to the basics. Wear black, comfortable flats, and be so charming no one will care what you are wearing. Oftentimes we forget that with age comes experience. By the time you hit your thirties, you have gained enough experience in these social interactions to compensate for the areas in which you lack. So, keep the attire simple, and the conversations complex. Don’t be afraid to own up to your opinions about the use of color in that mural or the amount of movement in a certain piece. Wear confidence, and wear it brilliantly.
  1. Have fun. The Wynwoodites can fool you into thinking you must be serious and dark about all things at all times. But that’s not what Art Week in Miami is about at all. If you misquote your art history textbooks because you haven’t been inside a gallery since your college days, don’t fret. Smile it off. Chances are the people around you will be so ebullient from the complimentary cocktails and the music blaring so loudly, they won’t even have noticed. Instead dance to your own beat and create your own opportunities for beauty and art.

The fun officially begins Dec. 3, 2015 and runs through the weekend. I hope this post inspires you to attend as many art related events this week as your heart desires, rather than staying home out of fear of having a mid-week existential crisis.

Follow Your Heart

© Americanspirit |

For over a century, artists, nomads, and travelers alike have been going to New Orleans, Louisiana seeking to satisfy their cravings. We all go to New Orleans seeking passion and how you experience it lies at the heart of your desires, wherever that may be. Like no other place, New Orleans has perfected the art of branding, selling and distributing the idea that an entire city can exist entirely in your unique perception of it. A place where you can seek out what you most desire and indulge in its pleasures. Therefore, what follows is a description of my New Orleans. I share with you in case you don’t have your longings clear in your mind and heart yet. But I promise you… follow your heart down to the “Big Easy”, and you will soon discover what those are.

My NoLa: