Friday, September 30, 2011

Castelar at the Movies: Colombiana

   Throughout the years, Luc Besson has made several spectacular films which have left me in awe as he has the unique talent of crafting and delivering a satisfying action film.
His latest effort introduces a female protagonist, Cataleya Restrepo, who starts out as an innocent girl. Unfortunately, she witnesses her parents’ murder as a child and this act of violence changes her life.  Cataleya has been tainted by the vicious cycle of violence and her inner rage motivates her to focus on becoming an assassin. With the help of her uncle Emilio she learns how to become a relentless killer who is an expert in stealth tactics which helps her to kill her targets without getting noticed.
This is a killer who plans every inch of her operation and she loves to position her targets at a certain location before she makes the kill.  Zoe Saldana clearly committed to this leading role as she plays this sad and bitter woman as a person who wants to remain anonymous in order to avoid any emotional attachment. This is a memorable action film which contains an intriguing story and an explosive ending which makes you wish there would be a sequel to this movie.     
   Every member of the cast gave a good performance and when you have many good performances in an action film you know that the people who are in charge of the film know what they’re doing. 

 One of the best characters in the entire film is the one portrayed by Michael Vartan. Vartan portrays a man named Danny Delaney who falls in love with Cataleya. Delaney is an artist who is trying to find out more about his mysterious girlfriend since he really cares about her and he wants to know everything about her. However, Cataleya is a very secretive person who doesn’t want to reveal too much about herself in order to protect her boyfriend and her family.

Another great performance in this film is given by Cliff Curtis who portrays Cataleya’s uncle named Emilio. Emilio is a bitter man who lost his only son, but he gained an unexpected daughter in the form of Cataleya. At first, Emilio wants Cataleya to have a better life that he has since he is a man who can hurt and kill anyone easily without any remorse. He doesn’t want a life of violence for his niece, but in the end he is the one who is responsible for helping Cataleya to become a lethal killer.

This movie takes us on a journey which is guided by rage and hatred so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the final confrontation with the main villains of the film ends in a violent bloodbath. 


Thursday, September 29, 2011

PRHFW Press Conference

The Puerto Rico Art Museum
I went to the Puerto Rico High Fashion Week Press Conference at the Puerto Rico Art Museum in San Juan yesterday. When I arrived, I didn’t know what to expect because I had never gone to a Press Conference before, but the experience was amazing!

The Press Conference for PRHFW
I got to meet Yalitza Navedo, she is the Press Director, and one of the sweetest women you will ever meet. Before the Conference started, I chatted a while with Reynaldo Jose one of the New Generation designers. He is so humble and talented, making me so proud he is from our Island. The highlight of my day was when I met Caridad Fernandez, the PRHFW President; such an elegant and sweet lady.
Designers from The New Generation
 At the Press Conference, the designers were presented and they talked a bit about their collections. So much talent in one room, amazing! When it was ove,r I said hi to Magalis Garcia a designer I blogged about in the past. She is so down to earth and she loved the blog I wrote about her. That made me so happy because writing for Ruby Leonne is such a therapy for me, I started writing for Ruby Leonne a couple of months ago and I was covering the most important event in fashion in Puerto Rico, because of the blog that everyone loves so much.

Yalitza Navedo taking questions from the Press

Jaer Caban with one of his models and designs at his shop
I have no words to describe how I felt, these people made me feel like I was at home. Jaer Caban another great designer invited me to his shop to see his designs and they were amazing. We talked quite a bit and I have to write a blog just about him. He has a great and inspirational story. My next blog will be about my experience covering the event on Saturday so stayed tuned!

Blessings to all,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Natural Hair Topic: Henna

It's the fall, so it's time for protective styles for my natural hair. During the cold weather months, I do a LOT of wigs and scarves and underneath I usually put my hair in twist. My hair is growing and I'm almost at my one year big chop anniversary. 

I'm always looking for ways to elongate my curls and provide moisture to my hair. As a 4b hair type, those are the two things I struggle with the most. This weekend I did a henna treatment.  Henna can be used safely on ALL hair types and makes your hair stronger, provides a red tint to your locks, makes your hair shiny and it has NO chemicals.

I've tried it before thinking it would change my hair color dramatically, but I don't think I did it correctly. This time I used the information I got from two of my favorite natural hair care blogs, All Things O'Natural and Curly Nikki to help me with my henna journey.

What I used: I got this recipe from the Curly Nikki website:
1 100oz package of Henna from the Mehandi website 
2 cups of tea (Sleepytime tea which is a mixture of Chamomille and other teas)
2 caps of Apple Cider Vinegar

You mix the ingredients until you get a "chocolate pudding" type consistancy. I parted my hair into sections and applied throughout. Here is the worst part...I didn't use gloves so my hands are STILL dyed orange. I will stress to everyone...USE GLOVES!! AND PUT A TOWEL ON YOUR PILLOW WHEN YOU GO TO SLEEP...I ruined a pillowcase!

I kept on my hair for 12 hrs (well a little bit more...because I had meetings and errands to run). I washed it our with Aussie Moist conditioner and then shampooed with Creme of Nature's Coconut Detangling Shampoo. I then deep conditioned my hair, rinsed and put it back in twist with Kinky Curly's Knot Today.

Henna in da hurr...LOL!
I will have to say, detaingling was a bitch, and that was with the Knot Today. Next month, I have to work on that somehow. My hair does feel softer and my grey hair (what few strains I have) are an auburn brown color, but still no dramatic change in color. I think it will take sometime to gradually pick up the color after a few treatments. I will do henna again, and will try to do it once a month for now on.
Just makeup...henna soaking in.
Have any of my natural friends tried henna?


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Mother of Miss Image Plus: Otis Rutinel

It is very hard to find a charismatic person who is dynamic and charming. Nevertheless, I have found such a person named Otis Rutinel on the Island. She is an experienced personal image consultant, who offers services internationally; which have a huge impact on the Anglo-American and Latino Market.
Otis Rutinel
As part of her training, Rutinel worked in the pharmaceutical industry and textiles. In this environment, she fully met the concepts of image and the importance it has on business and personal life.

Rutinel founded the Mimisima Corporation focused on building the personal and professional image of their clients. The company offers its services in the United States, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She is also director and editor of Mimisma La Revista, a magazine recognized in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. This lady is amazing!
Promoting her contest Miss Image Plus on TV
 Last week, I got to meet her in person when she invited my daughter Ana to model for a TV Show, because she was promoting her Miss Image Plus Pageant. I went along and had so much fun. She is one of these people you meet and feel you have known forever. I watched how she treated the models making them feel at ease before the show.

Otis is also promoting another event that promises to be great as well which is called Puerto Rico Plus Week 2011. I am so excited about that particular event, because I was asked to cover it for Ruby Leonne! So my friends stay tuned since there are many great curvy things coming our way in Puerto Rico.

Blessings to all,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Countdown to PRHFW: Magalis Garcia

The countdown begins for one of the most anticipated events in fashion in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico High Fashion Week! I will be attending the fashion shows on October 1, 2011, covering it for Ruby Leonne and Style & Mode. This night promises to be amazing, although in all fairness to all of the designers, I think all the fashion shows will be great.

Today I am going to blog about Magalis García. She will be showcasing her designs that night. I talked to her a few days ago and she was so gracious to tell me about herself. Magalis was born in Norwalk, CT where she grew up in a Spanish speaking household rich with the Puerto Rican culture of her parents’ native country. She was always an artist who explored a variety of mediums over the years, including paintings and sculptures while attending the Maryland Institute of Art.
Magalis García
Magalis was searching for the perfect outlet for her talent, when she finally found she could bring her artistic creations from what she had learned from her mom growing up together in fashion. Fashion was an incredibly direct way for her to reach people and truly express herself. Magalis moved to NYC and polished her skills with classes at FIT spending her afternoons watching the eclectic styles of New Yorkers.

While developing her own pieces, she freelanced for several notable fashion houses including Anne Klein and London Fog. In 2001, Magalis finally debuted her own creations with a line of accessories during a trunk show at Henri Bendel. After a great response, she expanded under the name "Detox" and "Detox Clothing". Her work was incredibly popular and sold well at high end boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami and Puerto Rico.

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As of today, Ms. García continues her creations under a new eponymous line launched in 2008 "Magalis García". Her line, designed with art in mind, incorporates hand stitched appliqués, a variety of materials, colors, and textures throughout all her collections. The Magalis García tone is a little bit urban with romantic silhouettes, cuts, and sensibility. There's an interesting take on an edgy romance with her everyday inspiration; the grandeur, allure and energy of New York City and the natural beauty of Puerto Rico, in my opinion this is a great combination!

Story Line of Magalis García Spring 2012 Puerto Rico
 Life and death of a Toro and Torero (Bull and Bullfighter)

This is a modern look at turn of the century Spain and the art of bullfighting. The Magalis García Spring 2012 line starts with a lightness that captures the innocence, youth and freshness in the young bull as well as the young torero before both are chosen to follow this career path. White and yellows, cotton, lace, and gingham represent the pasturing and leisure in the open fields. The bullfight follows with the glitz, glamour and glory of the grand arenas, elaborate costumes, and the lady aristocrats who fill the balconies at the event.

Bright, rich fabrics-evening gowns are elaborated with beading and embellishments, capturing the eloquence and art form of bullfighting. The dance of the bullfight is interpreted through the movement in the fabric. The line concludes with a dark color palette (hand painted deep colors to bold black) that represents the unfortunate fate of many who choose this path. She gave me a sneak peek of one of her designs and it blew me away. I couldn’t stop looking at it because it was simply breathtaking.

Personally, I can’t wait for this day to arrive to meet this incredible lady in person!

Blessings to all,


OOTD: Anything For You

I never do "outfits of the day" (OOTD), because I usually look somewhat of a hot mess when I go to work. This morning I got some energy, Kiran got up without coercion and I decided to actually dress for work today.

Now excuse my photos, I make Jason take photos of me but he always has an issue with doing I'm usually yelling at him...he's yelling at me and annoyed. So I guess that's why I don't do many OOTDs...LOL!!

Cardigan: Lane Bryant
Tank Top: Torrid
Belt: Torrid
Pants: I haven't the slightest idea...
Shoes: Shoe Carnival

So there you go...I will get better with my OOTDs and find a more willing photographer!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Everyday Curvy People

Curvy women wear confidence, radiate strength, passion and conviction. It contributes more to a look than a designer label or the perfect pearl. When a curvy woman knows who she is, why she is and what she’s supposed to do, she may be dressed in thrift store specials and be absolutely beautiful. A curvy confident woman is not afraid to be herself. Plain, simple and beautiful, or flamboyant and fabulous because the key is  knowing who she is. I asked my curvy beautiful women from Puerto Rico to send me pics telling me why they loved their curves.The response was amazing. I received so many pics from beautiful curvy women, I decided to sent them to my friend Karina who writes a column about fashion, and she chose the four she liked the most. Because I know all these beautiful curvy women, I wanted to be fair about who was chosen.
Dessie Velazquez
Dessie Velázquez, is a beautiful, curvy, confident woman. She loves her curves because they make her feel more of a woman and it has made a difference in her life inspiring other women! She is more confident now than when she was a smaller size!
Yoli Amer Velez
Yoli Amer Velez loves her curves, because it makes her feel like a real woman. She turns heads when she enters a room because of her confidence. Life is about inner beauty not outer beauty and she wouldn’t change a thing about herself!
Ana Garcia
Ana Garcia is a curvy Latina who has been different sizes in her life; but as a size 14 she’s confident, comfortable and more secure about her body than ever before. She would not change her curves for anything in the world! She radiates confidence where ever she goes!
Neysha Martinez Orengo
Neysha Martinez Orengo is a happy, lovely, curvy girl. She is full of confidence and loves her curves. They characterize her as a latin woman making her feel sexy, feminine and unique!
Always remember, confident curvy women have deep faith in their future and can accurately assess their capabilities.
Blessings to all,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Puerto Rico's Got Talent

I love to blog about new talent in Puerto Rico, it makes me proud! PRHFW selected a group of young designers who compose The New Generation 2011. It was said by Caridad Fernandez, President of PRHFW, choosing this group proved to be an exciting task for an island that has great promises of fashion.
Judges for The New Generation 2011
The jury judged on creativity, preparation, notch, quality and originality to choose the designers. The jury was composed of Nono Maldonado, Rubén Darío , David Antonio, the stylist Lizette Schettini and the fashion editor of Imagen Magazine, Arnaldo Rivera Braña; people who are excellent in their field. It was not an easy task for them, because there was so much talent there.
Reynaldo Jose with his designs

Diana Vazquez and her designs
   They officially announced the new members of The New Generation 2011, they are composed of designers: Reynaldo Jose, Edzel Giovanni, Nicole De Jesus, Diana Vazquez, Richard Cotto, Sofia Arana, Jackie Tejada, Hector Omar, and Ghabriello Fernando.
Richard Cotto with his designs

Jackie Tejada showing her dress to the judges
 I know they will all be amazing because of their dedication and their love for what they do. They are just as good as any other fashion designer from any part of the world. I wish them all luck at PRHFW, I know they will shine like the stars they are!
Sofia Arana with her designs

Edzel Giovanni with his designs
Blessings to all,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Do You Wanna Take My Picture?

Edgar David
There are some photographers which can captivate our imagination looking at their photographs. Recently, I found an amazing one from Puerto Rico (now residing in Baltimore, MD), his name is Edgar David. Edgar is a man of many talents, he is also The Purge Effect singer, the band I blogged about a while back. 
Behind the scenes shoot with model, Ana Garcia.
Aspiring plus size model, Ana García, had a shoot with Edgar when she went to their concert in Baltimore. I saw the pics and was at awe! They were amazing! I always say the chemistry between the photographer, the model, and the location of the shoot are keys to great photos. I never knew this side of him.

David tells me he never identifies himself as a photographer. He is a musician and sound engineer, with a passion for moving images and a deep interest in cinematography. His foray into photography is a very recent one. So recent, he doesn’t have any photographs taken by himself in the past decade at all!
Behind the scenes shoot with model, Ana Garcia.
  Eventually, he ended up buying a Canon DSLR camera, with the sole purpose of using it for it's video capabilities and it's film-like images, rather than the original use intended for the equipment. Then the opportunity arose... his boss' niece needed a portfolio to pursue a modeling path, and she wanted him to take her photos. The pictures turned out beautiful. What I like about the photos is that he tries not to edit them beyond a simple skin cleanup and makeup enhancement, and tries to leave proportions as natural as possible.

I have always thought photography records the feelings written on the human face and the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited!

Blessings to all,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Self Esteem Begins With Self

Model-Priscilla Jimenez Morales
Self esteem is how you feel about yourself; it is the general judgment of yourself and it is about how much you love yourself. Awareness of body image and self esteem issues has become a prevalent issue in today's culture. I just had to blog about this because I know so many people with low self esteem, especially having weight issues.
I want to do a little exercise with you. Go to a mirror and stare at yourself intensely. This meeting with yourself will be surprising at first. Start by saying hi to yourself, looking closely at your eyes, gradually you will feel more comfortable with yourself and begin a real dialogue with your inner self. Be happy for your happiness and laugh at your mistakes, because from them we learn and become a better and stronger person. That wasn’t hard was it? Now you're going to list one by one your virtues, do it out loud and congratulate yourself. They will be marked in you and will be reflected in your eyes and when you stare at someone's eyes they will immediately know who you are.
I hope this blog has helped a lot of people. Life is short and it is meant to be lived in the fullest way possible. Never forget the eyes are the mirror of the soul because they reflect your strength and wisdom.

Blessings to all,

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