I’m giving up shopping for lent (Part 1)

I’m back. It’s been such a crazy couple of months, I left the “perfect job” (I’ll get back to that) but I have my dream job. I promise you, we will talk about it

But not today, today is Ash Wednesday and it’s a very important day for me, I’m a catholic and even though I don’t practice my religion as much as I should do it lent and Holy Week are reminders that a little sacrifice helps a lot. Everyone can have their faith and beliefs and this is it for me, I always give up something that could be hard to do, in the past I gave up sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy, smoking… Now I’m tackling a bigger thing: I’m not going to shop for 40 days (FORTY).

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HAPPINESS!

Let me give you some context, I’m confessed shopaholic (SHOCKING!) I shop for clothes, shoes, accessories, bags, undergarments and it makes me happy, I love when the mailman delivers something with my name on it, I get excited about sales, I shop when I’m down or happy. I shop for my husband and my niece, I even love grocery shopping (something I can’t give up because I have a family and I cook a lot and we need food).

When I told J about it he laughed “I can’t wait to see how this turns out!” was his reaction. My mom was impressed (and a little doubtful) my coworkers feel like I can do it. I know it doesn’t sound like a deep and thoughtful sacrifice, it sounds silly for most people -but for me, represents giving up something I truly enjoy and look forward to- And my new job is not making it easier (Hint, check markandgraham.com and you’ll see why).

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I’ll report back. Wish me luck.

XO

Bela

¿Y tu para cuándo?

Ayer leí un artículo muy divertido acerca de cómo la sociedad impone ciertos estándares, te casas, tienes un hijo, tienes otro, compras una casa, envejeces, te mueres… Sólo de escribir esa oración me dio nauseas y y morí un poco de aburrimiento. Yo estoy en una edad dónde al tener casi 5 años de matrimonio y convivencia gitana pero feliz, las preguntas no cesan, desde gente que nos conoce hasta una doña en el súper diciéndome “no te preocupes, pronto llegarán los hijos” (ñora, thank you but no thank you)… En algún momento me han preguntado ¿Tienes casi 30 y para cuándo viene Belita o Jorgito?… Este… Este… No. Incluso mis amigas casadas y mamás pasan por esto, tienen un bebé e inmediatamente empiezan a preguntar por la parejita, ¿Acaso quien pregunta es quien va a  cuidar y a proveer para dicho ser, no verdad? Entonces, no pregunte.

Una de mis amigas que recientemente se convirtió en mamá es quien inspira este post, es mamá, es una parte fundamental de su vida pero sigue siendo mujer, se queja de la falta de sueño y de cosas que otras mujeres también se quejan pero que les apena decirlo… ¡Pueden juzgarlas por ser humanas!  judging-new-parents

Esas cosas me dan pánico, porque yo planeo tener una hija (en singular) y vestirla así.  d39b58fc1efe9e923e871001d7a609a6

A mi la idea de tener hijos siempre me ha llamado la atención, no es algo que descarto, es algo que en el tipo de vida que llevo yo, es imprescindible que se planifique. Sin embargo me da risa que mucha gente me ha acusado de superficial porque por ahora mi esposo, mi carrera, mi closet lleno de zapatos y Lola son lo más importante y tener hijos no está en mi plan inmediatamente. Lamento que mis planes de vida rompan un poco el molde este absurdo de tener 2 niñitos, la casa y etc. Mi carrera por ahora está dando un giro y es algo positivo, mi hija tiene 4 patas, pelo y ronca. Mi esposo y yo trabajamos para vivir como nos gusta. Y queremos que nuestro hijo humano (en singular) llegue a un hogar feliz, no me casé con el proveedor de la esperma, me casé con alguien con quien quiero compartir mi vida y esa es la historia que quiero que mi hijo o hija pueda contar.

Me pregunto si esa gente que juzga que no tenga hijos es de la que se casó con un productor de muchachitos  en vez de un compañero de vida. O si esas mujeres que juzgan a otras por su closet lleno de carteras y superficialidades en vez de ser madres abnegadas de un preescolar, estarán felices con las personas que se convirtieron. Juzgar por deporte no es sinónimo de ser la mamá del año. Dejar de ser una persona por convertirse en mamá, no es quien yo planeo ser. Juzgar a otras mujeres porque dejaron de trabajar y eligen quedarse en la casa, tampoco. Cada quien hace su molde y lo cambia a su antojo.

¿Se imaginan si en vez del cuento de la familia feliz  y tradicional nos inventamos otra cosa? Si eres mamá soltera y trabajas, si eres soltera con gatos, si eres ama de casa por elección y eres feliz, si no quieres tener hijos, si quieres adoptar, ¿Cuál es el problema? “Para que quieres encajar, si naciste para resaltar” (Dr. Seuss).

Nails on a truck? YES PLEASE!

One of my favorite things about living in Silicon Valley is all the technology that is available for us but sometimes I need a bit of indulgence, something traditionally girly… hard to find in here, except I might have found the perfect place and it’s called La Lacquerie. 

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Conveniently located outside of my office -It’s an AWESOME PINK TRUCK- where you can have your nails done, mani, pedi and lots of pampering, This mobile nail salon moves from company to company to help the tech girls hands look amazing. I met Susan, the girl behind this cool idea and she’s as cool as her job. She introduced me to dry mani-pedi, super hygienic and fast.  She’s the kind of girl who’s smart and she’s not giving up her stylish ways because she’s here.

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I went in, I was greeted and my mani-pedi started, it was a great experience after the longest work day, I talked to Susan for a whole hour, exchanged our Silicon Valley experiences and I learned a lot about being a girl working in techland and driving a huge pink truck (she does an awesome job parking the thing BTW) La-Lacquerie-0003

My manicure was perfect, my nails trimmed and my hands massaged, she uses Bodipure’s waterless method and everything was done in about 45 min, my pedicure was perfect because it was done painless, waterless and she uses OPI nail polish, personal favorite. We spent an extra time talking about how she came up with La Lacquerie, she was inspired by the food trucks you can find in every tech company in the Valley and I’m so glad she came up with this, if you’re here, don’t hesitate and try it, you won’t be sorry.

Better Mondays.

I’m always tweeting about how I decide and organize what I’m going to wear during my work week, crazy? NO. I love sleep more thanI love fashion and those extra minutes can make or break my day. So, I truly recommend this, one week of outfits without the hassle of picking up you’re look at the last minute. Do it tonight, look awesome the whole week.

First of all, you need to organize your closet – take out everything you won’t wear, try stuff on, toss that ill fitting jacket-. Then start picking your outfits and HANG THEM IN ORDER -Monday, Tuesday, Wed… you see where I’m going. Uptight? No… Just an extremely moody not-morning person.

Give this a go for a week – you’ll see the improvement, a few week in and you’ll be accessorizing in advance. I leave you some inspiration from Pinterest and a week of fall outfits so you can put your week together and sleep more (Did you know that a good night of sleep can make you healthier?)

Monday 

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Luxury Item

When I saw this J.Crew tee I knew I had to have it, I got it a few weeks ago and I knew exactly how I wanted to style it. I bought this shiny Zara skirt and it was a perfect match for me.

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Golden!

I’m wearing Kate Spade pumps, gold skirt, J.crew tee and AE jean jacket.  Make your days shiny.

xo

Bela

Falling for Fall

I love fall, the cool breeze, the beautiful colors and fall clothes (You can check my Fall Style Pinterest board here). It’s my favorite time of the year! Today I had a very intense case of bad hair mixed with migraine, so I decided to go for the wool hat -burgundy, my favorite color- and say Hello! to fall season.

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My office has a very relaxed vibe, I love it -especially the people around me- it is colorful and it makes you wanna go to work every day.

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I’m wearing american eagle high rise jeggins and AE white top. Black Ralph Lauren ankle boots. Leather jacket from Zara. Wool hat from Target.   My dear Praneet, this one is for you😀.

xo.

Bela.

“Because you’re a girl”

“You can get whatever you want because you’re a girl” or “you don’t know anything about sports because you’re a girl”. I discovered that “because you’re a girl” is an insult.

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First of all I’m not looking to “overthrow men” or anything like that. I’m a egalitarian. I believe that we all belong here and we are capable of doing the same work. I want to get hired because of my skills just like everyone else.

I started to really dislike when someone told me “because you’re a girl.” I’ve researched about sexism without looking to become a feminazi and now I have a better understanding of why “because you’re a girl” gets on my nerves. And no, it’s not a “hormones thing” nor I am being “over sensitive”.

A few months ago a man told me “well, this men will talk to you, because you’re a girl.”It was a red flag and, after that I started paying more attention. Every time I opened my mouth, this guy’s eyes were looking straight to my chest. First I thought I was being paranoid, but then it kept happening. Someone I was supposed to admire and look up to, yet his eyes almost never meet mine.

I started an experiment. I changed the way I dressed, I stopped wearing fitted dresses or makeup. Nothing. Apparently all that I am are my breasts. And no, that is NOT flattering. Because when I am presenting something I don’t want your eyes looking to my chest, I want to be treated as an equal. I’ve earned that. This nasty behavior won’t make the world a better place. This can’t  belong to the Silicon Valley I want my kids to grow up in.

Well, “because I am a girl” I decided to write about it. My beautiful Silicon Valley, filled with innovation, with creativity and people “who are determined to change the world”, is treating women very poorly. In fact, as a woman who worked in tech related businesses I think it’s time to snap all these guys out of their inappropriate and gross behavior. We are not objects, we are not our gender, we work hard, we create, we are innovators too. I have met women who are amazing engineers, entrepreneurs, marketers, and coders. We are as eager to change the world as the rest. This is our world too.

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I suddenly became really aware of this, the name calling because the way we dress or the way we relate to others. I keep thinking I’m nice not because I’m a girl, I’m nice because I’m a human being, because I treat people the way I want to be treated. Just because I’m polite or nice that isn’t an invitation to make passes at me. The way I dress isn’t an invitation for ogling. I’m not “asking for it”. Admiring the female form because we are works of art? No thanks! I’m not an object, I am a person and a married one BTW.

On the bright side (because there’s always one) I grew stronger and I met all these amazing women who had similar experiences and we feel that this will change. More and more are joining tech companies, studying engineering, programming, founding startups and being awesome at it. We are all working on that. My husband, who is the least sexist person in the world told me “you know what, we need more women here, because we need balance, we need order and creativity, men are messy”. Some men I talked to also were very understanding and supportive, some of them have daughters, sisters, wives, all of them treat women as equals. Shocking, right?

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I’m not trendy.

Dear reader I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m not a trendy girl. I love sales way too much. I love fashion egobloggers who can pull a great look with fall advances and pre spring styles, I can’t. I love going shopping -don’t get me wrong- but I do most of my shopping during sales season. I buy classics and basics and make them work year round. Why? Because I do love trends but some are extremely impractical (hello crop tops and culottes) and I must admit, I have Chanel taste with J.Crew (usually factory) budget. And I’m shameless about it, sometimes I just go try on stuff and find them on eBay, why? Because I know I can get a deal.

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This week a very close friend was visiting from Mexico, she wanted to go shopping for handbags and she wanted an specific brand, so I took her to the outlet instead of the boutique. Why? Because she left the store with 4 new handbags on sale very beautiful and classic without spending her whole budget. After that I found a pair of kate spade ny burgundy pumps perfect for fall, they were 350 and I paid 72, they were on the clearance section and this weekend was Labor Day. #win

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So, right now I’m shopping online, taking advantage of the beauty of e-commerce and free shipping and I confess that I’m not trendy. I’m just a girl who really loves shoes and bags, no matter what season they’re from.

 

Wardrobe Mix

When I started developing my fashion sense and discovering my style I understood that my latina figure can be a complicated thing but I’m very into pencil and midi skirts and my career allowed me to dress a little bit more creatively. I wear dresses, full skirts with t-shirts and mixed patterns (thick bold stripes, horizontal everywhere). I’m building my work wardrobe as colorful as I can but a huge chunk of black because, well I love black (we will talk about it later).

I’m not very into trends but I like to try new things and adapt them to my style, like this pattern mixing thing. Probably you have a great flower skirt but why don’t you wear it with a striped shirt? Or polka dots plus gingham. You get my point.  The key for fun work outfits depends on your taste and style but basically, mixing patterns with same color pallet works, smaller with bigger: if you’re wearing a flower pattern mix it with small stripes. If you’re rocking polka dots mix some plaids. Some animal print with stripes. Don’t be afraid to break some fashion rules because you’re allowed to… Tomorrow think about this, dress to impress yourself. 

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Life of a working girl.

Remember when you were at school and thought about how your life would change after graduation? I remember those days, I’ve never been so scared in my life, I realized that college taught me how to think but usually you’ll need more than that in the real world. I faced it, stumbled and moved on.

Now I’m here, I work for a living (well, let’s call groceries, shoes and bags a living). But, one of my biggest problems is I ALWAYS WANT MORE and I’m very insecure sometimes, and no, I’m not (just) talking about shoes. When I changed careers I wanted more than a job, I wanted something that I truly love, something to look forward every Sunday night, but the reality is that, when you’re in your 20’s you don’t always get what you want, you get a job sometimes, probably something not so exciting or that doesn’t make you passionate about, but in the end, its OK, you have a job, a learning experience. A paycheck that helps you buy that bag you really want, you conquered some independence. YAY yourself!

Something I recently learnt is you shouldn’t settle, perhaps the job you have today isn’t your dream job, but that doesn’t mean you can be one step closer to get it. Last week I broke down a little, saying “I’m on my late twenties, already had a few not great jobs, why can I find the one I really want?” Well, in my case this is the third country in the past 5 years and that means new beginnings every time (so I’m paying my dues to the work Gods again).

Today, after my 4 hours commute I knew it – I need to deal with my insecurities – the ones who make me say: “Probably I’m not good enough to get that, that’s why I’m stuck with this- Damn it Bela, get it together, you’re on a train, come on!. This can’t be who I am, because I dealt with a lot, just like you, this is only the beginning. Working girls: we need to face our fears, our insecurities and remember: -there’s nothing chic about giving up- don’t settle, keep looking, you’re one step closer everyday. 

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