The Spring in My Step

March 23, 2018

Tee/Camisa: Zara Jacket/Abrigo: Forever 21 (old, similar hereJeans/Mahones: American Eagle (similarBandana: Zara (old, loving this one!) Shoes/Zapatos: Forever 21 (old, similarBag/Cartera: Kate Spade (old, for cheaper versions love this one and this one!) Jewelry/Joyería: Alex and Ani Sunglasses/Gafas: Forever 21

¡Hola! About the title: pun intended! I absolutely adore this look I wore last Sunday for some reminiscing around my college town. There are a lot of spring trends going on here! 

1. Bandanas/Scarves in hair: Milkmaid braids is my favorite go-to hairstyle when I have no hot tools around but want a polished look. It takes me literally 10-15 mins to achieve (depends on my OCD level). I decided to add this Zara scarf I usually tie around my bag to it by knotting it over my head for a fresh, spring version. I've been seeing them used in buns, braids, and all kinds of different hairstyles lately! 

2. Yellow: This color is very on trend now. You're seeing it in every store! If you interested in rocking this trend I recommend buying a piece like this t-shirt because it won't break the bank and its very versatile!

3. Espadrilles: Espadrilles are always in style in spring/summer! I love this old pair from Forever 21 because they are very Chloé-esque! 

4. Straw bag: This Kate Spade bag has been in my wardrobe for around 2 years and I love bringing it out once spring starts and really almost every time I do a little touring around the island. Living on a tropical island means this bag is pretty much on trend ALL YEAR ROUND. I've linked a couple of cute and cheaper alternatives above!

5. Cat-eye sunglasses/Micro sunglasses: Ok, micro sunglasses do NOT look good on me. I think my eyes are just to big to pull them off! I was so happy, though, when I found these at Forever 21! I know they are not "micro" but I think the shape of them is enough to count! 

You're definitely going to be seeing these on repeat here and on the blog's Instagram

Fun fact: The first play I saw in this theater was when I was in college. I had been handed out a flyer for a play and decided to check it out on a whim. First scene comes to life and there's a bathtub on stage. Suddenly a naked man comes out of it and more naked people start to show! Needless to say I was in awe, watching families with kids running out of the theater, because there was no way to have known! It was quite a funny (yet it was a very serious play so, no laughing!) sight! 

What is your favorite trend for this spring?

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The last minute weekend getaway: Puerto Rico

March 21, 2018

¡Hola! As you all know, my husband and I are both doctors. I just finished my medical degree and am waiting to start my residency and my husband is an surgery intern. This means that planning a weekend getaway just the two of us is extremely rare and almost always left until the very last minute because we never know too much in advance when we are going to be able to get away. Even so, we always manage to plan fun and cheap weekend trips in less than a day or two. How? Keep reading!

1. Where to go: First things first: where do you want to go? Even though Puerto Rico is such a tiny island, it is jam-packed with places to go! There's something different worth exploring in every single town! How do you decide where you want to go? Check your mood. Do you need a relaxing weekend just chilling on the beach? Head to the west! Do you feel stuck in a rut all week and want to have a little fun? Head to the north! Do you want to jump on a catamaran and explore the sea? Head to the east! I can go on and on! If you're up for anything, go somewhere you haven't been before. Check something off that Puerto Rico bucket list! I like to check out a list such as this one: 100 Things to do in Puerto Rico Before You Die. I also always check for any deals on Gustazos and Spotin (they have an app too!).

2. Where to stay: We are lucky enough that both our parents have apartments in Cabo Rojo (west PR) so every time we want to explore that side of PR, they kindly lend us their places (WIN!). Maybe you have a family member or friend living around the area/with a place in the area you want to explore! ¡No pierdes nada con preguntar! There's nothing to lose by just asking if you can crash at their place! If you feel too guilty, invite them on your adventure!  When we decide to spend the weekend in the metropolitan/capital area (San Juan), we usually opt for an Airbnb. These are some we have stayed at and highly recommend: Old San Juan's Hidden Gem, Tripper's Inn Ocean Park, Cozy Studio Apartment Condado.

3. Where to eat: I am always asking friends (and you guys!) for restaurant recommendations. I keep them listed on my phone's Notes app by city. This way we're not going through the usual "where do you want to go?", ""I don't know, where do you want to go?" debate when it comes time to choose a place to eat. I also follow recommendations from Puerto Rican food blogs such as Una Jeva con Hambre and use apps such as Sal! (check out their website here).

4. What to pack: This really depends on the type of weekend you have planned. Obviously if you plan to spend it on the beach, pack swimsuits, coverups, sunscreen, etc.! If you're planning a more city/touristy weekend pack lightweight tops, shorts/jeans, etc. However, there are some things that could come in handy no matter what you have planned such as: your camera, a straw hat, sunglasses, an evening outfit, mosquito repellant, and I always carry an abanico de mano (fan). The trick is to pack light and with pieces that you can mix and match as needed!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The Day to Night: Jean Mini Skirt Edition

March 16, 2018

¡Hola! Today we begin a new series where we tackle how to make one item of our wardrobe work for both day and night looks. First up in this series: the jean/denim mini skirt. I know most of us owned one way back in the late 90's-early 2000's and they are back! I personally love the one I own, and its the one I will use as a base for both looks, because it really wraps around your bum due to its stretchy material making it very flattering! I hope you enjoy both looks and feel inspired! 

No. 2 Mejuri Raw Hoops ($69) (or get a whole hoops set for $3.90 here!)
No. 4 Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandal ($79.95) (similar & cheaper here!)

A denim mini skirt can appear very edgy so pairing it with a romantic top like this one helps to keep it light and fresh for daytime. Pair it with simple jewelry (hoops are all the rage again!) and spring inspired pieces such as these espadrille platform wedge sandals and this adorable straw bag!

No. 1 Zara Camisole Top ($35.90) (cheaper here!)

Take your skirt into night with a simple change of top and accessories. A sexy lace camisole top is perfect for date night. I've been loving playing with layered necklaces lately and I'm absolutely in love with both of these from Alex and Ani! Complete the look with a pair of comfortable strappy heels and a clutch that can also work crossbody so you can dance the night away!

Which was your favorite: day or night? What item would you like to see next in this series? Let me know below!

Con amor,
María Eugenia


The Family: How to have a good relationship with your stepchildren

March 12, 2018

Photo by: Saul Padua Photography
¡Hola! Today's post is more on the personal side. As you may know from my description in every About Me section, I am happily married to an amazing man and am therefore also stepmother to this beautiful girl pictured above. My husband and I dated all throughout medical school, got married in the middle of my third year, and have now been happily married for two years. That means this little one has been in my life for roughly six years! 

When my husband and I first started dating, we would tell her we were just friends and all three of us would hang out together to get a feel for one another. We hit it off immediately! When things became more serious and we told her we were officially together, at first she was taken aback. She was scared that I was going to take her father's love away from her. But, we did our best to make sure that she never felt that way. When we got engaged, she was the first person we called. She was elated! Our wedding came and went (she looked so beautiful!) and the marriage and real challenges began. Every day we get to spend with her are the best moments of the year (she lives with her mother in the U.S. during the year).  I'm going to explain in further detail below how we make sure all of our relationships (father and daughter, stepmother and stepdaughter, husband and wife, family of three) are well-balanced and joyous. 

Although I listen carefully to my parents advice and apply their methods of raising me and how they have such a successful marriage into my life, I don't know anyone my age that is going through the same things I am as a stepparent (which is completely different to being a regular parent but equally as challenging because of the circumstances I explain below), so I've had to figure most things out on my own. Maybe one of you is going through the same situation and doesn't have anyone to ask for advice either. I'm here for you.

I can proudly say my stepdaughter and I have a beautiful relationship that I cherish deeply. I feel privileged to have her love and respect. I have so much to learn still (teenage years are sure to be interesting!) but, I thought I'd share what I've learned so far and my advice on how to have a loving relationship with your stepchild because, thankfully, these tips have worked for our family and can maybe help you. 

I cannot stress this enough. If there's anything you take away from this post, I hope it is this point. You are coming into their already formed lives. You are an outsider and you have to earn their love and respect. You do this by showing them you care about getting to know them, know their likes and dislikes, learn and respect their personality. Let them know you are not trying to replace anybody. Start off by becoming their friend. Kids recognize effort!

When you are in a relationship with someone who has a child, understand that you may come in second. The child's needs and feelings take priority at this moment because they are in such a vulnerable stage of life. Whatever actions are taken during these years are forming the foundation for the child's future being. Be patient. Help your partner guide his/her child by listening and being there. This is something that I plan to write more on in a different post because this should change as your relationship grows, more so if you marry. In a marriage, your husband/wife come first. This is a shift that must be handled gently and gradually. But, for the time being, your partner's child will come first.

When it comes to the child's mother/father (not your partner), be respectful. They played a big part in making this beautiful soul and will forever be in their lives, therefore they will forever be a part of yours. The world is such a tiny place (and Puerto Rico even tinier), I've actually known my stepchild's mother since elementary school! Although we were never BFF, we got along fine. Through this new journey, I've got to learn more about her and deeply respect her for being, not only an exceptional mother to my stepdaughter, but also to 2 more angels! The worst thing you can do is make the other parent an enemy. You are all part of the same team and you all have the same purpose: to raise a young child to the best of your abilities. Put aside your differences and work together towards the same goal. Besides, the child can sense if there is discord between you and that only worsens his/her feelings of guilt or anger.

Now that you've earned your stepchild's love and understand your place in the family, you can start acting like a parent. Don't wait until you're married to start doing so! You have to begin to set your role in your stepchild's life beforehand. You can't just wake up one day and start acting like a parent and except them to follow along! I'm not saying to go power crazy with timeouts and punishments  (that will surely backfire) but, do start setting limits and rules as a team with your partner. 

Many times, children from divorced/separated parents get the "ay, bendito" as we say here in Puerto Rico. This means authority figures in their lives, feeling sorry for them, fail to set structure. You're lucky enough to see things from a different perspective. This kid has a whole army of people that love him/her! Its important that they see that instead of feelings of lament towards them. Along with your partner, set rules and boundaries so they understand that there are limits. Good behavior should be rewarded and bad behavior should have consequences. Being a part of the child's discipline when he/her is with you and your partner is paramount to gaining their respect as a parent. Trust me, kids love structure when you do it in a kind, fun and patient manner!

Now things are starting to feel like you have your own little family! Take that show out on the road! Planning activities that will bring you closer as a family is a win-win situation: your relationship as a family grows deeper and you have fun! Start off with simple activities such as a trip to the movies or a restaurant and move on to trips to the park and weekend getaways in time. Here's a list of family-friendly activities:
  • Catch a movie! (remember to check movie ratings! PG-13 movies are practically what used to be R rated movies nowadays, in my opinion, so I stick to G or PG!)
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! trip
  • Picnic at the Park
  • Play a sport!
  • Go to the beach
  • Have an arts & crafts day! (you can find so many ideas on Pinterest! Check out my Crafts board!)
  • Hit up a bowling alley
  • Host a family game night
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Visit a museum
  • Fly a kite (no better place to do so than at El Morro in Puerto Rico!)
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Take turns eating at your favorite restaurants
  • Play games at you nearest entertainment center (e.g. Chuck E. Cheese's)
  • Go on a road trip
  • Visit nearby historical landmarks
  • Adventure into nature
  • Spend a weekend at a hotel soaking up sun and fun by the pool and exploring nearby places

The list goes on and on... The important thing is to be present. Sure, take photos, these are memories you'll want to cherish forever. But, don't be constantly looking at your phone during this time. Focus on enjoying your family. At the end of the day, our little family plays a game at dinner where we each share the worst part (so we can be more aware of each other's feelings and/or cheer them up) and the best part of our day. It is one of the best habits we have.

This is were you have to give your most and it'll test your maturity and selflessness. Once you've really created a bond with your stepchild, they'll hopefully feel comfortable with sharing their feelings and fears with you. After all, you are now an integral part of their life. 

Hard times are going to come: sadness due to distance from a certain parent, missed birthdays,  holidays, and milestones, new brothers/sisters stealing the spotlight, etc. These are certain to happen. All you can do is provide a shoulder to cry on, arms to hug, and ears to listen without judgement. Try putting a positive spin on things, bring in stories from your life were you felt similar, let them know they are not alone and that what they are feeling is normal. Your stepchild may even be so comfortable with you to admit that they wish their mom and dad were still together. You better poker-face through it and understand. What kid wouldn't wish this? It has nothing to do with you or your relationship with them. Don't take it personal. In fact by opening this conversation, you are getting closer and you're helping him/her move on. 

This is can be either easy or hard, it really depends on you, but just open your heart. When you fall in love with someone who has a child, you have to fall in love with their child too. There's no way around it if you want to have a happy household. Let them into your heart and make your family a part of it too, after all you are all united now!

Teach them the values and morals you believe in just as you would for your own child. Include them in your decision making. Write down their special days on your calendar. Share a special meal together just the two of you or even a whole day! Make them a part of what makes you happy. Soon enough, they'll take hold of a place in your heart you didn't even know existed.

People have told me that I'm not a parent because I "didn't have her" or that its not equally important or valuable, but I disagree. I form part of an amazing team of four parents, each willing to give life and limb for our child. I am a parent because this little one gives me a sense of purpose that nothing else in my life can match. I am a parent because I choose to be one. I applaud you for choosing to be one too. 

This was a long one, I know! Its just something I'm incredibly passionate about. 
Thank you for reading!

Are you a stepparent? What other tips and/or advice have helped you?

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The Wish List: Swimsuits Under $50

March 9, 2018

Swimsuit Guachas PR
¡Hola! My husband and I are planning our upcoming trip and that means me lusting over a thousand swimsuits! Lucky for you, I've been scourging the internet for the best finds! Here are some of my favorites:

No. 1 Aerie Top ($25)Aerie Bottom ($25) (on sale!)*

No. 1 Aerie Red Swimsuit ($30) (on sale!)*
No. 4 Aerie Super Scoop ($30) (on sale!)*
No. 5 Aerie Tie Strap ($30) (on sale!)*

*Get 20% on your first American Eagle/Aerie order using this link!
*Forever 21: 10% off your order with code: BX10OFF2GU

Are you planning any trips this year? If so, where are you headed? I love hearing about other people's travels!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The One for Women

March 8, 2018

Dress Wear It (c/o)
Photographed by: Kevin Quiles
Styled By: Valeria Cid (also a singer and blogger in her own right!)
¡Hola! Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day. I could write volumes of what I've been through in life as a woman: bullying, sexual harassment, judgement, the "you can't do that", etc.; but, I'm not going to. Why? Because that is all in the past. Today I'm a stronger woman who is determined to guide all other women through even the toughest times. Or, just help her out picking out clothes and makeup that make her feel like the beautiful woman she is. A more self-confident woman is a stronger woman! In the video below, I reflect and share some thoughts on what it is like to be woman in today's world. I hope this post inspires you.

There is always more to be done but I think the most important thing we can do right now is stay UNITED. We fight our own daily battles but together we have a stronger voice.

Videography: Kevin Quiles

This video was prepared in collaboration with other Puerto Rican bloggers for International Women's Day. Check out that video out here:

You can find all the strong and inspiring women who formed part of it here:

What does it mean to YOU to be a woman in 2018? Let me know below!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The Monthly Favorites: February 2018

March 5, 2018

¡Hola! February has come and gone. Today I'm sharing a quick post featuring the things I loved the most during the last month. Enjoy!

  • I've been having a love affair with my Anastasia Glow Kit since December and haven't reached for anything else lately! I love mixing the shades Summer & Moonstone for the perfect highlight.
  • My new favorite makeup wipes are the Garnier Micellar Makeup Removing Towelettes. One wipe removes all of my everyday makeup!

  • I am currently on week 7 of BBG Stronger using the Sweat app I talked about in the latest Health post. It has kicked my butt into shape! A full review will be posted soon so keep an eye out for it if you're interested!
  • I've been snacking on gluten free snacks this month and have noticed a significant improvement in my tummy aches (yes, a doctor can still call them "tummy aches" especially when they are happening to her!). These Lucy's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies have been my favorite!

  • Netflix:
    • I've watched every single episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (they are 20min long at the most so, don't judge!). My favorites are the ones with: Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Micheal Richards (Kramer!), Barack Obama, Will Ferrell, Steve Harvey, Fred Armisen, Sarah Silverman, Colleen Ballinger, Lewis Black, and both Bob Einstein episodes! ( pretty much all of them!)

    • Another series I binged watched and loved this month was The Crown. Highly recommend it! I am now obsessed with all things royal! 

      It really all started when I watched The Young Victoria (my latest favorite movie on Netflix!).

  • On the web: Kirsten Bell is hilariously honest in her new web series: Momsplaining.

What show did you binge watch on Netflix this month? Any other favorites you want to share? Let me know below!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

The Mom Jeans

March 2, 2018

Blouse/Blusa: Old (similar here) Jeans/Mahones: American Eagle (similar here and here) Shoes/Zapatos: Steve Madden Bag/Cartera: TJ Maxx Sunglasses/Gafas: RayBan Necklaces: Various places (loving these here, here, and here)

Its been a tough week for me. I don't know why but everything I tried to do went wrong. I spent almost 2 hours waiting while binding some books at an office supplies store, accidentally put a moldy snack in my mouth, and had to deal with a flat tire just to name a few of these unfortunate events. I guess that's life. Some days are just like that. I try to look at the positive side of things and be optimistic but that doesn't mean I don't curse and feel bummed out at first. I'm only human.

Anyways, I am loving the mom jeans I talked about over on the blog's Instagram (you can still see the haul under the aptly named story highlight: Hauls!). Even my husband likes them now! I like that they're high-waisted and I love a good ripped jean. I paired it with an old blouse from my closet and tucked it in for this look. I'm the kind of girl that likes to reinvent old pieces from my closet to make them feel new and trendy again. I hope you enjoyed it!

Con amor,
María Eugenia

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