Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Journalistic Wonder

Sometimes we meet people that have an impact on our lives. I met one a couple of months ago and her name is Karla A. Toledo Rios. I blogged a while back about how Casiano Communications was gracious enough to make an art for my daughter Ana announcing she had been chosen to model at The Curvy Revolution. This lovely young woman works for them.

Karla A. Toledo Rios
Karla answered my e-mails when I was inquiring on how plus size models could be acknowledged by their magazines. It meant a lot to me because she was one of the few who answered them. I contacted her and told her I wanted to blog about her so people who read my blog would get to know her better and can see a journalist here in Puerto Rico can also be a kind and caring human being. 

She was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, where she plans to go back someday, and raised by her mother and grandparents; her father died fifteen days before she was born. Karla grew up among cows, gas stations and men ... and if you think this affected her femininity you are wrong. 

Dove 50 Real Women
On October 2007, she won the prize of 50 Dove Real Women with 49 other contestants. She was the youngest at just 19 years old. As a requirement of the contest, she had to say what she had done with her life to make her become a real woman. 

She became independent when she was18 years old; fully funding rental expenses, utilities, transportation, gasoline, clothing and food. Furthermore, she worked full time to study part time in San Juan, a place so different from her birthplace Hatillo and graduated with a degree in journalism on May 2010 from Sagrado Corazon University.  

Interviewing Victor Manuelle
 She is a journalist from birth, always wanting to know who, how, when, where, and why they exist. Karla loves to write. This woman even offered to work as a volunteer for Casiano Communication, even though she needed the money...now this is love for what she does! 

Eventually she got the job and as of today, she is a Coordinator of Social Networks and Digital Sales Department of Casiano Communications. The management of social networks dedicated to maintaining the different pages of Facebook, Twitter and blogs of the 10 publications of the company and their customers

Karla doing what she loves!
  Karla has had the opportunity to meet and interview various artists such as Luis Raul, Raulito Carbonell, Andrés García, Noelia Crespo, Raymond Arrieta, Saritza Alvarado, Sonya Cortés, Yolanda Adams, Olga Tañon, Hannani, FM5, Zuleyka Rivera, Papo Brenes, Johanna Rosalia, Victor Manuelle, among others.

     Karla is very grateful to God for the opportunity to work at what she studied and loves to do. She is a very creative person and does not rule out reaching out to achieve other dreams.  Karla, good luck in your journey through life, the sky is the limit!

Blessings to all,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Model Mogul

What young girl doesn’t have a dream of becoming a famous model at one time or another in her life? Today, I am going to blog about a beautiful model in Puerto Rico who had that same dream, her name is Caridad Fernández Carreras. I contacted her and she was kind enough to share her story with me. 
Caridad Fernández Carreras

Caridad was born in Cuba. She left with her family in exile and came to Puerto Rico when she was three years old. Her genetic homeland is Cuba and her adopted country is Puerto Rico. She loves them both with all her heart. She is married to Francisco and has two great children named Hugo and Lucas.

     When she was fifteen years old, she took several courses in modeling and refinement that changed her life forever. It awoke in her the artistic and creative side she had always carried within, and from that time, with discipline, patience and passion she started to learn how to become a model.

Initially, Caridad stood out as a business model and later as a photo model and catwalk in the late seventies, eighties and nineties. She told me everyone thinks the world of modeling is all glamour and nothing is further from the truth. This world is full of sacrifice which involves a lot hard work and dedication.

She started working when she was fifteen years old as a modeling instructor in one of the most important schools on the Island called Model Corporation of America (MCA). Once she graduated from college, she decided to join her two passions: modeling and education. Along with Ileana Cambó who was another model, they dared to open a school and modeling agency to impart their knowledge to other girls. This is how Unica, Refining and Modeling Center was born. They managed to position it gradually in the market of fashion, beauty and modeling.

 In 1996, the opportunity to franchise Elite Model Look of Puerto Rico appeared and she took it. Elite is a worldwide recognized modeling agency. These experiences have gradually led her to become a producer of fashion events. In 2005, Rosa Lourdes Ortiz came to her and raised the idea of producing the Fashion Week in Puerto Rico. At first, she thought it was crazy, but she went for it once again. Caridad took a chance and the Puerto Rico High Fashion Week was born.

Some acknowledgments she has received have been the Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame Business Award – Méndez and Company, 2007, Ten Best Dressed Women – The San Juan Star, 2003 and Stanford Who’s Who’s – Honor Member – Stanford University, 2011.

Being a plus size advocate I asked her about plus size modeling. she told me that in her opinion the purpose of models is to use their image to sell products, ideas and/or services. Plus-size models as Fluvia Lacerda, Ashley Graham, among others, are as necessary as any other model. Both the regular model as the model "plus" must be very careful of excesses. The top model has to be careful not to fall into anorexia or bulimia to maintain their weight. Similarly, the plus model must watch their weight for health reasons. It's all about maintaining a balance while taking into account that health is beauty. Caridad it was a pleasure blogging about you. I wish you the best that life has to offer.

Blessings to all,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

(Pictures taken by Ruby Leonne or staff)
    Kung Fu Panda 2 takes Po on a journey to discover his past; as he has forgotten where he truly came from. He seeks to find the answers to his origins even if it lies down a dangerous road which brings back haunting memories he has hidden inside the corners of his mind. Po must come to terms with his past if he is to save the future. The only way he can do this is to find a harmonious balance of will, focus and grace which comes by achieving inner peace.

(Pictures not taken by Ruby Leonne or its staff)
  The film also shows a new villain rising to sweep the land with fear and devastation. The new villain  is Lord Shen, voiced by Gary Oldman, a malicious peacock who is determined to annihilate anyone that gets in his way. Shen is the heir of the peacock clan that ruled Gongmen City in China. He's tempted by the darkness inside his soul for power and despair. Shen seeks to harness the power of fireworks and to use it as a weapon to rule the entire country. During this time, Po is living his dream of being the Dragon Warrior who is the sworn guardian of the land. Po protects the Valley of Peace with his comrades known as the Furious Five who have become his friends. They work as a balanced unit to stop any threat that harms the stability and peace of their surroundings.

(Pictures not taken by Ruby Leonne or its staff)
Even though this is a sequel, it expands the mythology of its protagonist while teaching him new lessons along the way. The film is full of many dazzling animations throughout its running time as the scenery is colorful and vibrant which creates an impressive visual spectacle for any moviegoer. Many sequels fail because they don't bring anything new to the story, but this one adds new layers of depth to its characters while creating a memorable adventure that captivates our imagination.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ghost in the Computer

So this morning I had the worst shock of my life. I opened my email and got two emails from Paypal thanking me for approving two different mobile payments for $500 a piece to some guy named Rob Millards.

I called Paypal and they noted the two transactions fraudulent, but could not stop the transactions from posting to my account which is fed from my bank account. I needed to call my bank to have them do a stop payment on the transaction. I called my bank. They could NOT do a stop payment because both charges are an ACH debit charge. The fraudulent charges would have to post to my account before anything could be done. But both agencies assured me Mr. Millards, if that's his name, will not receive one red cent. I was advised by my bank to set up a new account and let the old one ride out all the craziness.

As I rushed to my bank this morning, I grew angrier and angrier at Paypal. Why would they not see these charges were fraudulent before it went this far. I don't spend more than $50 using Paypal at a time AND I've NEVER used Paypal mobile. They assure their customers its a safe and secure site. I will be deactivating my account as soon as this is all over.

I spend online because there aren't a lot of physical stores I like or can shop at. Now this incident is going to make me rethink if I will be doing any online shopping. Now I have to go back and continue to change all my passwords and switch things around. It's been a long crazy day! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's Woman Puerto Rico

I was invited to an amazing event called, Today’s Woman Puerto Rico by Tatiana Cordova, a lovely young woman who works for them and Jorge Fusaro, the executive producer of the event.  It was held at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This event was intended for the modern woman of today; hard worker, educated, independent, inter-dependent and influential in society, commercial world and home. 

Tatiana Cordova
Today's Woman had a full day of workshops to enhance the Puerto Rican woman and develop a full quality of life in happiness, confidence, leadership and determination. This event firmly believes beauty goes beyond physical attributes; as this is the sum of all the features that come with being a woman. 

Their mission through this and many future events is Today's Woman  become a movement that has a significant impact on society by enriching the mind, body, soul and spirit of the Puerto Rican woman. At the same time, to promote positive values ​​while helping great social causes and inspiring others to do the same.

Marta with the ladies of Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos
 Proceeds went to Susan G. Komen for the cure, for cancer awareness and to Casa Protegida Julia de Burgos, a shelter for battered women. I talked to the ladies. They have a heart of gold and are very dedicated to their cause.

Ana, Daniela Droz & Sara
 The master of ceremonies was Daniela Droz. She's an actress, singer and has so many other talents...could this lady work a room! She was energetic, funny and we had a great time with her. There were many workshops there. 

Jorge Fusaro with the girls from Cinda's Nails
Lucy Pereda, a well known TV personality, gave a conference. She was promoting her new book. She was amazing a very elegant and classy lady. 

They had a conference on cancer issues, sexuality issues, fashion shows and many more. My favorite conference was with Dr. Charmir Highley. She spoke about how your first impression is so important. This lady is great! She had everyone’s attention. 

The booths sold makeup, jewelry, clothes and so much more. One of my favorite boutiques was the Parti Boutique. They had great prices and the owner was so sweet. My daughter Ana and niece Sara also loved it.
Plump Couture Fashion Show
 I really liked the fashion shows. Plump Couture was the first one out with a plus size clothing show. It was great to see a plus size women fashion show; to be proud of your body no matter what size you are and not be afraid to show it...especially here on the island where plus size modeling is not common at all. Rebeca Tiago had her fashion show. It was lovely as well. To close, the one and only Carlota Alfaro! This lady is fashion designer royalty on the island. Her fashion show “Vintage” was amazing! I had a great time and when they have another event, God willing, I will be there to blog about it again. Congratulations Jorge, the activity was a hit!

Carlota Alfaro Fashion Show "Vintage"

Blessings to all,

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Hangover 2 Movie Review

 Ruby Leonne wants to welcome Castelar Garcia Rivera to our family. Castelar will be doing a column on movie reviews and what to do on the weekend every Friday! (Remember...these are personal movie reviews, reviews doesn't necessarily reflect the RL family.) Sometimes there will be spoilers.

First of all, I will admit that The Hangover part 1 didn't make me laugh very much. It was a film which didn't have many memorable comedic moments. However, I must admit its sequel was a wild and fun ride because of all the crazy shenanigans that occurred during this movie. 

This time around the plot revolves around Dr. Stuart "Stu" Price, portrayed by Ed Helms, as he is getting married to Lauren on Thailand. He wants his friends to be there except for Alan Garner, portrayed by Zach Galifianakis, who Stuart considers to be a weird person. Both of his friends Phil Wenneck and Doug Billings convince Stu to invite Alan to his wedding. Before these men reach Thailand they go to the airport and they meet Teddy who is Lauren's brother. Alan doesn't like Teddy because he wanted to spend some time with his friends without somebody else getting in the way.

When they reach Thailand everyone can sense Lauren's father hates Stu as he constantly makes insulting remarks towards him in many scenes throughout the film. In order to make Stu feel more relaxed his friends decide to have a bonfire on the beach and drink some beers in honor of Stu, but before you know it they wake up in a strange place and they don't remember what happened the night before. This is very similar to the plot of the first film, but this time you can tell these actors are comfortable working with each other as the humor doesn't feel forced. When these gentlemen wake up they realize that Teddy isn't anywhere to be found. 

In their road to self discovery they find Leslie Chow in their room and as it turns out he partied with them all night long, but he isn't able to tell them what happened because he passes out in a scene that is absolutely hilarious. This sets up a fun ride as these bumbling travelers realize that they are in Bangkok while they look for Teddy. Unfortunately, they will realize that they did a lot of dangerous things during their hectic hangover. Overall, if you want to see a crazy male bonding experience then see this movie. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lovelace in the City: Second Chances

Hello World!

Have you ever written someone off and not given them a second thought? Unfortunately, I do it more than often, but I am starting to change my ways. A few months ago, I wrote about my dislike for a gentleman by the name of Mr. Photoshoot. Well, I admit I could possibly be wrong about him!

This past weekend, I finally broke down and spent time with him. To my surprise, it was better than expected. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoyed spending time with him for various reasons, but was very unsure of his reasoning for wanting to hang out with me. Spending the evening with him made me reconsider a possible relationship with him; well at least for the moment or until he does something stupid. But for now, let me tell you all about my wonderful evening!

For the last week, whenever I would talk to Mr. Photoshoot, the conversation always included “when was I coming over?” and my reply would always be during the weekend.  To his surprise and mine, I actually called him and went over to his place! When I got there he was cooking dinner and his son was playing nearby!!!! (I love a man that can cook) Normally I am not a fan of men with kids, but since I’ve always known that he has custody, I don’t count that against him. Our evening was very uneventful, but that’s exactly how I like it! It was just the three of us, hanging out and watching movies. It almost felt as if it was a little family, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Heck, I even played with the kid...without being asked or prompted! I usually don’t play with kids I don’t know, so that was a big step. I ended up staying very late at his house and to be honest; the only reason I left was because I had to be at work in the morning and didn’t bring my clothes. I also managed to spend quality time and stick to my goal of not having sex unless I’m in a committed relationship.

Having such a great evening, it made me rethink some of my previous thoughts about him. Should I give him a second chance and try to establish a relationship with him? Should I put forth more effort and spend time with him? For the time being, I will proceed with caution and watch his actions. I’ve never been one to listen to a man’s words, because their actions always show the truth. So maybe...just maybe I will give him the opportunity to wow me! Hopefully, he can pull it off! I’m sure this will NOT be the last we here of him! 

Remember to love yourself first and laugh at the fools who don’t!

XOXO Angel

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Local & Weekend Love: Indy Fashion Time Competition & Fashion Show

Indy Fashion Time is one of the biggest fashion events here in Indianapolis; so big the Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, proclaimed last week Indy Fashion Time week. During the week long event, there are two fashion shows, two competitions, and workshops taught my fashion professionals from around the country. This year's big guest speaker was Althea Harper of Project Runway fame.

I didn't get to go to one of the fashion shows, the Tuesday show at the Canal, but I did attend the show on Saturday night. I wish I could've gone to some of the workshops, but I was helping a friend/co-worker with hair for her models for one of the competitions. I did a good job for someone who's NOT a stylist whatsoever.

Here are some pics of Saturday's festivites:
Julia popping her head down so I don't get it...sorry Julia!!

Designer DLang

Project Runway's Althea Harper was one of the judges for the competition.

I don't know the name of this designer, but she was in one of the competitions. Her line was inspired by Christian Dior!

Christian Dior inspired line

Designer D.Lamont

Designer Alyssa Benner ( I helped with hair...doesn't she look delightful!)

Designer Alyssa Benner (helped with her hair too)

Alyssa and her models (She didn't win the competition, but she's a winner in my book!)

A client of Aesthetic Design Style House, Tiffiany Gilstrap-Scott of Clique Da Cour, also entered the competition.

Both Alyssa & Tiffiany with their models

All the goodies Mahogany Charm bought with them

Tina Jimison of Mahogany Charm dressing one of her models.

The crowd

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

He's Speaking to You

At GLY Headquarters with the team (left to right) Vanessa C. Negron, Alexandra Reyes, Paola Vazquez, Irma Santiago, Carmen Sierra & Mariam Mohammadian
 GLY Plus Boutique had a press conference on May 24, 2011 to officially announce their online store. With a positive feedback of those present, GLY entered the e-commerce business. I went to the website and found the merchandise to be beautiful and affordable; and with the economy the way it is right now that is a plus. This company is distinctly Puerto Rican; which makes it amazing. As I blogged before, Mariam is the GLY President and a very spiritual person. She put this verse on the website with her interpretation. I just had to share.

Mohammadian & Juanita Sanabra de Zayas (her 99-year-old grandmother)
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness  
   and speak tenderly to her.”  Hosea 2:14
 God uses difficult times in our lives as a wilderness to attract us to Him. I've noticed when we are in front of a difficult situation with no support behind us, we have no choice but to look up; that's where He wants us. Not the suffering or pain, but total surrender to Him in everything we do.
  God speaks to our hearts every time, but sometimes we hear His voice better when we open our hearts in sadness or loneliness. He will pour His love and refresh your soul if you accept it. Surrender your heart to His presence and hear what He has for you.
God loves you and me!

Eileen Guzman of Casiano Communications, Mohammadian & Marlyn Torres VP of Ejecutiva Banco de Desarrollo de Puerto Rico
  I loved her interpretation of the verse as it made me think long and hard about life. She has another big surprise about GLY, but she is keeping it a secret for now. You can be sure when she reveals it, I will blog about it right away. Good luck Mariam as you embark on a wonderful adventure!

Mohammadian with some of GLY models
Blessings to all,

Friday, June 3, 2011

You're Going to Vegas!

It's summertime, so I don't watch a lot of TV. There's only two shows in my summer roster, True Blood (which is starting soon) and So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD).

I come from a family that LOVES dancing. My sister is a dance teacher (she teaches hip hop, jazz, contemporary and lyrical) here in Indianapolis. My five-year-old niece takes dance classes and has competed in competitions all across the state. I've been known to cut a rug or two when I go out. When SYTYCD is on, everyone in my inner circle is glued to the TV, talking, texting and sometimes crying to each other. 

I was SO ecstatic last night when dancer Natalia Mallory got through to the Vegas round. To have a plus size woman be praised for dancing in mainstream is WONDERFUL! I know plenty of chunky dancers that belongs on the show. Hopefully now they will step up since this courageous girl has broken the mold.

Congratulations Natalia! I hope you go far!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Retro Racism

I remember when I was a child, my mother told me about her childhood and the abuse and bullying from family members. 

My mother spent a lot of her childhood in Mississippi. My grandfather and great-grandmother died and my grandmother went blind and got sick all in the same year; leaving my mother, just nine years old, to carry the household. So family members sent my grandmother, my mother and my younger uncle down to Mississippi to be cared for. She explained to me once she got there it was rough.

My mother was born with a missing bone in her hip causing her lots of surgeries and obstacles as a child, but that's not the reason of her bullying. She was given a hard time because of her skin color. My mother is a dark skinned woman. Many family members shunned her because she was darker than a brown paper bag. If you were lighter than a brown paper bag, you got treated better and probably was a product of mixed race intercourse. (Even though my family was from Mississippi, we had a lot of lighter skinned relatives. My great great grandfather was a product of mixed race intercourse. His mother was a slave from Africa. His father was a white man. It is not recorded nor did he ever say who his father was. My great great grandfather was a right hand man to Marcus Garvey. This is totally another blog post.) Skin color has always been an issue between black people. Lighter skinned slaves worked in the house of their masters, while darker skinned people most likely worked in the fields. 

There is a new documentary coming out later in the year called "Dark Girls". I'm excited to see it, though it saddens me that this is still an issue. Take a look at the preview for "Dark Girls".

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

Bella Model Management Contest

People in Puerto Rico are very competitive and YES so am I. I found that out last weekend. 

One day, I was on Facebook and I saw an announcement from Bella Model Management; they were having a contest. You had to send a picture with your favorite style and they would choose 10 finalists. The one with most likes wins. This will go on for four weeks. They will choose a winner from the four to go to Australia and have a photo shoot like a Bella Model. I loved this idea and sent in a picture of my daughter Ana with the dress she bought from City Chic for her brother’s wedding. They chose it and she made it to the finals.

Ana (photo taken by Michelle Alexandra)

Ana in her dress she won from City Chic
We had to start voting on Friday and the voting finished Sunday at 10:00 p.m. in Puerto Rico Standard Time. I put my plan into action, because I wanted to win this. I contacted all of my Facebook friends, got my team together and it was a go. I laughed so hard, they went wild … we literally spent all weekend on Facebook getting likes. One of my friends had to order take out, because her dinner burned twice which was very funny. 

Teresa Rosa
 I had a lot of help from my good friend Teresa Rosa, she really worked hard activating her friends. I met a lovely young lady named Ivonne Marie Nieves. She was kind enough to tell all her friends and write me to tell me what was going on. because I was translating an important document and I was really busy. My student, Jose Caleb Coriano, was monitoring the time in Australia and Susan Santana was putting the link all over Facebook.

Susan Santana

Ivonne Marie Nieves

Jose Caleb
Sometimes, Ana would be in first place and then two hours later Hollie; whom was such a lovely and classy lady. All of this was stressful, but fun because in my opinion. They were all beautiful. Then the moment of truth came and the winner was announced … and yes my friends Ana won! Everyone was ecstatic! I could not believe that she got more than 240 votes, and the comments under the picture were beyond belief. My email was flooded telling me they loved the picture and trust me in Puerto Rico you have to like something to vote for it. 

It was a great weekend, we laughed, we screamed and cried when the winner was announced. We forgot our problems for a while and just had fun, because that is what it was all about. Thank you Bella Model Management for making the Island of Puerto Rico forget all of their worries for a little while last weekend!

I put a lot of pics because they helped me so much and I want honor them they are the Dream Team!!

Blessings to all,

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