SLIDER

48 HOURS IN NEW ORLEANS WITH YOUR BFF

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Orleans is everything I didn’t expect it to be


She is mysterious, delicate, and cultured. I was only there for less than 48 hours and it didn’t take much for me to fall in love at first sight. It was one of those trips I take that I didn’t want to record or take pictures of anything, not because there isn’t beauty to capture, rather because it was so perfect that I wanted to live presently in the streets with the people holding their bourbon dancing around or make stops at every café that sold beignets to stuff my face with the powdery-sugary French pastry.

This is not a place to sit back and vacation. This is not a place you travel to alone. This is not a place you go for a whole week. This is the place where you pack the most minimal items on a backpack (LITERALLY!), grab your best friend(s), book the cheapest hotel room you can find in the French Quarter (NOWHERE ELSE!) with a balcony if you get lucky, and get on a damn flight the next day!

You’re feeling bored out of your mind at home and you’ve got a few dollars to spare, GO TO NEW ORLEANS!


THINGS I PACKED:

1 PAIR OF JEANS
2 DRESSES (super light!!)
1 SNEAKERS (wearing them)
1 HEELS
TOILETRIES/MINIMAL MAKEUP
FLAT IRON (my best friend brought hers!!)
MY SONY ALPHA 6000 (for blogging, which I didn’t do on it because I didn’t bring my charger)

I created this little list, but you really don’t need one for New Orleans… you just go with it. Still, this may be of help. I did it on my way to the airport on my iphone notes…

Places to enjoy a little breakfast/brunch (I had a hard time finding vegan friendly places):
- Elizabeths
- New Orleans Cake Cafe
- Cafe Du Mon V
- Hivolt Coffee
- Biscuts & buns
- Mais arepas V
- Cane & Table V
- Acme Osyter House V
- Mothers (pope boys, jambayala)

If you want to do some bar hoping:
- Spirits (Resurrection)
- Tropical Isle (Go in for the Hand Grenade)
- Pat O Brien's
- Abita brewery
- Old visenthe's house

If you’re into sightseeing like me:
- French Quarter
- Bourbon St
- Pirates Alley
- Frenchman St
- Lafayette Cemetery
- French Square


And if this is not enough, enjoy these very random pictures I took of my best friend Mara, whom tried her very best to take photos of me, but is by no means a photographer just very good at angles…

The first thing we did when we got to New Orleans.. can you spy her hair-iron? haha... no kidding when we say we travel light..
loved these little streets
Most of the city was under construction. 
enroute to eat a lot.
but, not before we take some photos of us in the sts of New Orleans... cos otherwise did it really happen?
This sunset was beautiful.
Bourbon St
We were so eager to try the infamous hand grenade..
oh, New Orleans
More Bourbon fun
DONE A LOT OF THAT
Outside of Cane & Table... the only vegan-friendly restaurant I was lucky to find
Practically all I eat lately
THE HAND GRENADE
My last photo before getting on my uber and waving my goodbyes to New Orleans... very sad photo haha

So recently, I went on an adventure with Local Guddy to explore the city of Miami with a local. We took an early run around some of Miami's well known areas like Downtown and Brickell. I wanted to get a taste of how Local Guddy worked and how reliable it was to recommend any of you solo travelers to the app. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun. When Local Guddy invited me, I picked Miami because I know the city very well, and to my surprise, I was impressed with how much I learned from another local. So if it's in your plans to do this New Orleans trip on your own, but you want to have the "local" experience and have a local show you around parts of the city, then try Local Guddy. I haven't done it since Miami, but I am not shying away from the chance of doing it in my upcoming trips, since I had a good experience my first time. 


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If you've been to New Orleans and you feel like I've missed anything... let me know in the comments below. I'm definitely thinking of going back!

I created a vlog for this trip, click here & enjoy. xo

5 things I'm giving up for a happier tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon.


A few months ago, I would have told you that I didn’t give up on anything – which is true, I still struggle with this. Even if the struggle is real, I fight and fight and fight again! Because while I was growing up, I was told, we were told, that if you want something you have to fight for it, because if it makes you happy then it must be worth it. Familiar with this nonsense? We have gone as far as sacrificing ourselves, sometimes for the impossible, to achieve happiness on a different scale. While in the meantime, we neglect ourselves in the process not realizing we alone can fulfill any kind of joy.

Of course, this theory can be put to the test with a plethora of scenarios, but what I’ve come to realize that sometimes we have to stop fighting and give up on certain things. I’m personally giving up on a few things for not only a better life, but a healthier one. Peace of mind is far more important than a stressed one.



1. Approval
Am I alone when seeking approval? It’s like we spent such a long time waiting on it to fall from the sky, thinking we need somebody’s approval to be authentic – to be ourselves. Living in a world where the root of approval is at the touch of our finger tips, we tend to forget how absurd it actually is. There’s not enough likes in this world that will guarantee any kind of approval if it doesn’t come from within. Acceptance of who you are comes above what anyone may think of you. It’s so simple, just do you any day and every day.

2. The Past
Ever heard of the saying, ‘Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?' and yet, here we are contemplating about how you wish you could go back in time and relive some moments again. Like no. Things of the past are meant to stay there and not be brought to the future like we’re out here carrying around baggage and extra weight for no reason. You have to realize the beauty that is the present and even more the future. To be able to create anything you want out of your day and of tomorrow should give you enough push to leave the yesterday behind.

3. Excuses
I used to hate it when my mom would tell me, “don’t leave anything you can do today for tomorrow,” like why not, what is the rush? And the older I get the more I realize I was only making excuses. No more excuses for none of us. Why do we have to give our dreams excuses? Or postpone them for tomorrow? Is it really guaranteed or do you not care for it enough that you’re willing to keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” every day, until tomorrow never comes and nothing gets done. The laziness and lack of motivation ends today, let’s get busy!

4. People
This one is a tough one for most of us. I know. I’ve had a very hard time giving up on people. For quite a while it was an internal battle with letting them go and accepting individuals for who they are. There’s this quote from Anne Frank that stuck with me for such a long time, and it goes like this, “in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” I always believed that if Anne, who witnessed the worse of human kind could still believe in people, why couldn’t we? And although her ideals still hold validity, I don’t think having negative people surrounding your day to day does any good to one’s soul. We have to take care of ourselves before anyone else. What good does it do to you, if you don’t have positivity around? If you walk into a room and the aurora is already negative, do you really want to be there? It’s time to exit out of these rooms and walk into other doors filled with individuals that will support you. It’s time to nicely say, good bye Felicia!

5. Eating Meat
I’m not going to be one of those people to persuade or convince you to stop eating animals. Instead, I’m going to tell you how it’s been the best decision I’ve made this year. Or maybe ever. Starting with my skin… it’s the softest skin I’ve ever had since before I knew what pimples were. My spirit lately is at an all-time high. My appetite finds flavor in things I swear I didn’t think much of before. Like did you know tomatoes are sweet? and avocados go well with everything? I’m speeding through my 3rd month going Vegan. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been challenging and sometimes I have to get creative with my diet, but overall, I wouldn’t take it back. It’s been incredible to see how mindful I am of everything and anything that I do going forward. I think in part I have to thank my little sawyer, who in a fragment of time has taught me how to love, nurture, and care for animals.




If you think there’s anything missing that you’d like to add, please do so. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

All photos were taken by Anna.

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WHY I STARTED A BLOG #THETRUTH

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Hi friends, I’m writing to you from a hotel room in Jacksonville, FL. It’s pretty late at night and I just finished some work I had to get done, and then it got me thinking (as usual lol) how I’ve never shared with you the when and why’s I started blogging.

If you want to know the story behind this, keep reading, if not just check out these cute photos from the other day at Wynwood from a shoot I had with Ana. I swear, she gets me!


SO WHEN DID I START?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve thought of the internet as a place to share my ideas and photography since Myspace days. It’s been a very long time. I’ve been doing photography since I was about twelve, when I was involved in the yearbook club in middle school and it carried all the way to senior year in high school as the editor-in-chief of the book. I don’t know if you’re familiar with what a yearbook is, depending which part of the world you come from, but it’s a collection of photos and journals from the school year printed on a book. I was pretty obsessed with editing the pages of the book (think of it as a magazine spread), whether it included the photos, the copy (aka the stories), or the actual design of the page. I was doing it all. It was one of the best creative outlets I’ve had my whole life.

So, fast forward to today, I find blogging very similar to what I used to do. Except, instead of sharing others’ ideals and beliefs, I share my own. This platform allows me to be creative and give you content that truly does reflect my life.

NOW, WHY DO I DO IT?

Apart from the fact that I’ve always had a love for writing. Believe it or not, it inspires me to seek adventure. It’s almost like putting myself out here doesn’t let me stop asking more from life. In return, I hope this inspires you to do the same. We must not settle. I live by the idea that all dreams are possible to achieve if we work extremely hard for them and manifest them in to reality. I promise you, I do it all the time. I never ever stop.

I also think we can learn from one another. It’s happened to me before, where I think I’m the only person going through something, and all it takes is a google search, “how to get over so and so” and there are thousands of articles with people across the globe sharing their story. I too want to document these moments of my life, reflect on them in the future, and perhaps help someone get through whatever it is they’re going through by visiting this blog. I’m telling you, we’re on this journey together.

Now, the big question… what do I want out of this?

I’d be lying to you if I said I wouldn’t want to become a full-time blogger, because who wouldn’t want that, right? But the truth is, I don’t know where this may lead me. I’ve done the college degree, the hustle and bustle of a career, the traveling… now what?

I’ll tell you, we keep asking for more.



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How to Stay Organized in 2017 | DIY

Friday, July 21, 2017

Life is already messy, right? Cos’ mine is chaotic,

I’m always busy – just ask my friends how it is to even plan a dinner. I need to at least have a week-notice in advance and somehow, I still manage to be that late friend. I think most millennials have this in common where we think we’re busy people when we’re actually not. But as messy as life can get, I still plan in advance. I was born a planner – it’s practically part of my DNA. However, I can’t get the hang of planning things virtually, like, having my calendar setup or my iPhone reminders and alarms on. I simply can’t do it. I need to touch my ‘plans’ physically. I need control of my life or the idea of it.



Since high school and all through college, the only way I have been able to keep myself organized is by the beauty of an agenda. I can’t live without them. My agenda is sacred, my holy grail, my diary, my bible. It knows me. So, I advise you to get yourself one, right now. If you’re not in sync with your days, this is the way to go. My iPhone calendar is setup according to how my agenda flows – no lie.

& you can’t just get ANY agenda, no way!

My kind of agendas are those that come with cute motivational quotes outside of it. 

I need to grab it and be inspired by what it’s telling me on a daily. I need it to say, ‘Think Happy Be Happy,’ like YAS, tell me, remind me!


I love spiral agendas because they’re similar to having a notebook or slick ones with just a cover on them. I love agendas with pockets to store little receipts. Sometimes I even like to print a photo of a particular moment and keep it in the pocket so it goes everywhere with me. I am not a fan of large agendas, simply because I tend to carry-on a medium sized bag and I want it to fit perfectly. I also like for my agendas to have enough description room to cover all the ‘To Do’s’ for that date. I know some agendas even bring stickers… okay, cheesy, but I do put a cake sticker on my birthday, because… it’s my birthday!

I’m big on decorating, so the more life I can bring to the agenda, the more inspired I am to keep myself organized and up to date.

Always start with a cup of jo

It usually goes something like this...

RIP Agenda (I always keep a backup now, because of this little dude)

He doesn't give up

This is when I step in, usually late, but I still get some cuddles out of it.


I’ll give you major inside scoop, on a yearly basis I buy one right at the beginning of January to mark down all the days that I hope to take off for my travels. I like to take off on a Friday if a Monday falls on a holiday or vice versa. I know most jobs usually give up to 1 week vacation, so it’s important to spread the days evenly throughout the year and mix them with holidays so it feels as though you have more than just a week off from work. That’s why early planning is important, or at least marking the days down so you have an idea of a possible vacation days.

Currently, I try to prioritize travel days on the weekends, because it’s hard to find a sitter for little Sawyer, so my agenda is constantly changing. What are your days like? Do you have an agenda or do you just note everything on your iPhone? Give me the deets!


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Life Update: Still Alive & Blogging

Monday, July 17, 2017


It's been while,
& although I do my best to share what I've been up to through other social media channels, I feel like I haven't done all the justice there either. So YES, I'm back!


Today is the first of many days where I hope to take you with me everywhere I go. I know I’ve been a little absent, but don’t think I didn’t think of you all this time that I’ve been away. The truth is I didn’t feel good enough to do this, and most of the time I’m scared as to how much I can share with you. There’s a certain pressure to be perfect, when things are far from it. Social media is a tricky thing, but so many of you wrote to me about how you have been waiting for the next blog post, and they are coming. So daily, I’m going to sit and write to you about what’s going on. Well, Monday-Friday. I think it’s the best I can do until I get the hang of editing videos.

So, I’ll give you an update, I enjoyed my trip to the Grand Canyon on another level as you all saw on Instagram @jocelynfotografia and just last week I went to New Orleans (also shared photos on the gram). Most of the time, all my source of inspiration comes from meeting people for the first time, seeing a city for the first time, and doing a bunch of first time things to be honest. I will have blogs about my last two trips, they’ll be going on as I edit them. I have tons of footage and I’m struggling with how I want the videos to look like. I really want to make you feel like you were there with me. If you have any tips, please share them with me. I used to be so good at editing videos, and it’s true what they say, practice makes perfect and also a habit, which I have lost.

Meanwhile, Sawyer is getting bigger and if the terrible twos exist in doggie years, he’s having his for sure. He has major trouble with seeing me get ready and walk out of the door. So much he will bark and bark until I just stay home from the guilt. You can see all of his adventures through his Instagram, @HellowIAmSawyer. I am also between Miami and Tampa a large portion of my days. While I’ve been away, I got a cool promotion with my personal job (FYI I do marketing for a corp. that will not be mentioned here). Most of the time If you see me in Miami is because I’m trying to create content, because there’s so much to do back home. So, I’m still struggling between being Superman and Clark Kent as you can see, but is it worth it? Every minute you guys. Creating content for you guys takes away any anxiety and stress, because I get to be creative and your feedback means a lot to me.

I almost feel like I’m trying to coexist. Very odd feeling.

I’m working on tons of cool ways to make this blog a little friendlier for you, and there’s tons of things coming up, but everything in its due time. I don’t want to say much, but this is a huge project & I’m so inspired to keep working on this. I hope you guys love it when it’s all done.

I’ve also been reading like crazy, I’m almost done with Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho and it’s fantastic! I started reading books from the popular R. H Sin on Instagram and they are a super-fast poetic read. I’ll give you a book review as soon as I am done with them as well.






I am looking forward to creating more images and content for you! Oh yeah, I have a new photographer working with me side by side on all things style and we started with this shoot. Drop by and say hello to Anna!

Missed you all, thanks for stopping by today. I’ll be here tomorrow…


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For the local and tourist alike: A South Beach Travel Guide

Thursday, May 25, 2017


A year ago, I would have told you not to book a hotel room in South Beach. Instead, I would have guided you to go anywhere else but Miami. Today, If you don’t vacation in Miami, Are you doing life right?

I didn’t love Miami, I’ll be honest, It wasn’t my city until I had to leave and experience something different. Or until I had to defend that Miami is not as everyone outside of it may think. I found myself taking a lot of pride that I came from the 305. The rich hispanic culture, the cuban coffee you have in the morning (even if you’re not cuban), and the music, oh how can we live without our salsa! But, I’ve heard the craziest stories about how mean and rude Miami folks are from people who live in the same state. There’s no way they were talking about MY CITY. So shortly after leaving Miami, I decided I was going get to know Miami every and any opportunity I had when I was in town. I’ll warn you, this won’t be the only guide you'll find here about Miami, there will be a few. But first, I wanted to create one that really gives you the feel of what a tourist and local experience here at home. I do this entire itinerary, without even thinking about it, quite often.

If you’re a local, you’re going to feel like an outsider and appreciate our home a little more. If you’re a tourist, Welcome to the 305.

THE STAY

Say you’re staying in South Beach, book a hotel way in advance. My favorites are between 16th st and 44th. Anything passed that, I don’t personally suggest unless you like being isolated. I stayed recently at the AC Hotel Miami Beach and loved it.






BREAKFAST

I like a hearty breakfast, and lately I’ve been loving an avocado most for breakfast. Some of the best brunch sports are DIRT, Zak The Baker (my ultimate favorite), and R House in Wynwood (aka the art central of Miami). After, I like to have a photoshoot around Wynwood. There’s really no other time to enjoy the art work if not done in the daylight.

This is at local fav in South Beach called Pura Vida

Zak The Baker

The Real Zak

@ Zak's

The Diner in Lynwood

Quinoa Salad please?


& THEN

I’d take an over to 17th st aka Lincoln Rd where I would rent a couple of city bikes and cruise South Beach. The city bikes go as low as $10 the hour. If you’re looking to do something more relaxing, definitely walk to the beach on 17th and lay low.

Lincoln, hey!



LUNCH

Usually, after a nice beach day, I go straight to Spris right on Lincoln to enjoy a Margarita Pizza.

& AFTER

It’s too early to call it a day. I either uber or drive to Biscayne Bridge to catch the sunset. It sets so nicely here it’s quite the view.


My actual favorite spot in all of Miami

DINNER

At this point, a good nap in your hotel room goes a long way, but if you’re a local I’d still suggest the same. The night is far from over. If you’re feeling fancy for dinner, and you want to stick to South Beach, I love to have Prime Italian, but if you want to stay within your budget then right across, you can indulge a large portion for two at Big Pink. Same view, different price.

Try not to eat too much, because right when you’re done, you’ll be heading right back to Wynwood to enjoy a few drinks and giggles at El Patio (currently my fav spot) or at this rate, any other bar that you can find at Wynwood. If South Beach is your area, Ocean Drive has a strip of bars and clubs that you can enjoy, but as a local, I’d go with Wynwood instead, because nothing says hipster like the art district.

I’ve done this itinerary so many times, I’ve lost count, but not once has the experience been the same. That’s what so special about Miami, we have just touched the tip of the iceberg or better yet one spoonful of flan, because there’s still so much left to do.
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