Author Archives: Darlene Vazquetelles

Although many people see Puerto Rico as being too “americanized” because of its status of Commonwealth of the United States, the people in the island continue to emphasize loyalty to the culture and folklore that heavily exists in the island. There are hundreds of traditions that define the island of Puerto Rico and one of them is the great amount of festivals that we celebrate throughout the year.
One of the most famous festivals is called the San Sebastián Festival (Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián). San Sebastián (Saint Sebastian) was a Christian who was martyred for his faith at around the year 288. There is a street on the north side of Old San Juan named in his honor and this is where this event takes place. Considered to be one of the biggest celebrations in San Juan, it is held the third week of January. It gets stuffed with crowds, food, alcohol, live music, and arts and crafts exhibited by our local artists. It has been an annual event since 1970, and what started as a community fund-raiser has become the festival to go to. This 4-day event is attended by both locals and tourists. You can compare it with Mardi Gras minus the beads and the breasts! Just imagine, crowds walking on the street dancing, singing, drinking and enjoying this event that is part of Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage.

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(SAN SEBASTIAN FESTIVAL-FIESTAS DE LA CALLE SAN SEBASTIAN)

One of the best gifts you could give to yourself when moving to a different country is to keep your traditions and culture alive, especially if you have children that are now being raised in a different place. You add some decorations from back home, hang the flag, paintings, souvenirs you brought back with you. You play the music, cook the traditional food, go online to keep up with the news from your country, etc. There are so many ways to maintain that connection with a country you hold so close to your heart, the one you first saw when welcomed into this world. As a way to remember your hometown, you also attend local events that represent that place, its traditions and customs. One example of a cultural representation away from home is the San Sebastian Festival IN MIAMI!
I heard about this last year while I was attending the festival in Old San Juan. At first I thought it was a joke. How can you possibly try to imitate such a big event in a little street in Miami? I found out a good friend of mine, actor Julian Gil, was organizing it and being that I was in Florida at the time, this year I decided to attend with my mother.

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(My Mom, Julian Gil and myself)

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(San Sebastian Festival in Miami)

I was very proud of this representation. They managed to close a busy street in the area of Brikell and turn it into a block party dedicated to one of our dearest traditions back home in Puerto Rico. I loved seeing people from different cultural backgrounds come to the event and learn a little bit more about this tradition. There were Rum and Coquito (our version of Eggnog) tastings, Puerto Rican fritters which represent our diet and even a pig roasting.

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When talking to Julian Gil he mentioned how the plan is to add more streets to this block party in Brikell in honor of the original San Sebastian Festival in Puerto Rico. It promises to be a new cultural event in South Florida.

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(This banner placed at the event in Miami simulates what the San Sebastian Street in Old San Juan, PR, looks like during the festival.)

In Miami you get more of the Latin flavor being that it has become the new home for people coming from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc. Many of us have left our countries for different reasons. The important thing is to be able to keep your values, your history, your roots alive. It is part of who we were, who we are and who we will be. It is what we pass to our children in the future, what we teach others who come along the way. I encourage to be open minded and learn more about other cultures. In times where there is still so much ignorance and racism, these type of events are important. You learn about others and at the end you realize there is always something you can relate to. After all… who doesn’t enjoy some good music, food and dancing!

Darlene

 

 

 

 

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My Story: The Actor Behind MI PRINCESA

When people think of actors they probably think of these:  Hollywood, Glamour and Luxury.  Few are aware of the struggles most of the actors go through in order to be seen, get booked and be paid to do a job.  On the one hand, some make it all the way to the three I just mentioned.  On the other hand, some are happy just by getting paid doing something that they love.  The second is my case.  I started acting when I was in my early teens, doing local commercials and T.V. shows in Puerto Rico.  Although I wanted to work behind the scenes, life led me to the world in front of the camera and as time went by, I started considering acting as a career goal.  Little did I know that it was a decision that would involve more sacrifices than I could have ever imagined.

I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting at a time when Latinas were still not accepted in the industry unless you were going for the maid, nanny or prostitute role.  Although some of these have not changed, Sofia Vergara has recently opened more doors for us.  When I first moved out there in 2002 I was constantly told that I had to take accent reduction classes.  Stubborn me, I refused.  Fast forward to the present and casting directors LOVE my accent as I sound like the girl from that show: Modern Family.

I never lost myself in the Hollywood field of dreams. I would be asked out by producers who thought I was going to be the “aspiring actress who would do anything for a role”.  I would walk away from these type of situations, with tears coming down my face as I faced the sad reality that can happen to young girls out there.  But nothing would make me give up.  I would wipe my tears and keep moving forward.  The sacrifice of being so far away from my family and the town that saw me grow was too hard and painful for me to get discouraged by the ignorance of some of the “powerful players” out there.

The money situation is another aspect that we actors struggle with.  Oftentimes, people joke about it but it is sadly the truth.  Because of the instability of auditions and work, we will be the ones acting as your server, bartender, hostess, etc.  If you think that sending resumes and going to a couple of job interviews is hard, imagine having to do that two to three times on a daily basis, to be called back one out of the last ten interviews (auditions). Although it can get frustrating, it is a matter of keeping your self-esteem and faith at a high level.

And then comes the times when an acting job parallels the reality of your life: “Too close to home” moments.

Such was my case for the movie I want to introduce to you called MI PRINCESA (My Princess).  I was sitting on the floor of my apartment in North Hollywood packing everything into boxes as my relationship of 2 ½ years came to an end.  It was a very emotional time for me when I was crawling around life with a broken heart.  Puerto Rican Director Carlos Jimenez Flores, whom I had worked for before in two other films, called and asked me to be in his next film which would start shooting in my hometown, Puerto Rico.  Although at first I did not want to do it as I was trying to take in what had just happened in my life, between him and friend and actor Sevier Crespo (who plays my brother in Mi Princesa), I was convinced to take the offer. I flew to Puerto Rico to work on the film and soon my life turned around for the better!

Although as actors we go through a lot of downs, there are the ups that you do experience when you are part of this beautiful art.  Talk about timing.  As my relationship with a love ends, I start working on my first acting job as the LEAD actress in a DRAMA/ROMANCE. Aside from having family and friends around to cheer me up, the irony of this life event brought smiles and laughter back to my life.  I arrived July 13th of 2012 and started shooting my scenes on the 14th. I did not have much time to settle in back at my parents’ apartment.  But there I was.  You move on and you show up for work.

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As I walked to my first day on set, I took in the beautiful scenery in front of me and thanked God for the opportunity to be working at home.  I was now playing the role of Mayra, a good girl who is full of life, surrounded by family and friends. The only thing she has been missing is love and she is about to find it.  Again, very ironic as I had just lost it in real life. Nevertheless, I was ready to play this character!

(CLOWNING BEHIND THE SCENES:  HUMOR ALWAYS WORKS)

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One of the challenges you can face when working on a film is a lack of connection with fellow actors, especially when shooting a romance. Being that Mi Princesa was shot without scripted lines and we had to improv, I was a little bit scared as to how the interaction was going to go between the actor who was playing my love interest and myself. I met him less than 10 minutes before shooting our first scene.  I have to admit that it was challenging at first.  The director let us know what he wanted out of the scene and we proceeded to give it to him, but it was a little bit uncomfortable at first, for both of us. This was his first acting job and I was fighting the emotions that were so raw inside of me as a result of all the changes that I was going through.  Still, we did our scene and after seeing the final result, it could not have been better!

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(First scene with my love interest in the movie, Ricky. Played by Roberto Perez Perez)

After the ice was broken and days of shooting went by, everything just started flowing in divine order.  The Director found some amazing locations where I got to enjoy the beautiful sceneries of my island that I had been missing for so long.  We shot at beaches, mountain view locations in the country, resorts, venues with great local live music, among others. I was finding that happy place again.  I was home.  I got to work with one of my best friends, actress Millie Ruperto, a great crew and the icing on the cake, my niece Kenya. The Director offered my niece a role in the movie and she flew in from Miami to be a part of it.  I had my team!

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(MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO)

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(WAITING TO SHOOT A WEDDING SCENE WITH ACTOR ROBERTO PEREZ PEREZ AND A GREAT FRIEND AND ACTRESS, MILLIE RUPERTO)

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(ABOVE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MY BEAUTIFUL NIECE KENYA DE JESUS)

(BELOW: KENYA RECEIVING DIRECTIONS)

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(OLD SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES)

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After two weeks of shooting my heart was feeling happy! We had an amazing project in our hands.  I was able to go back and work in my beautiful Puerto Rico surrounded by love and creating new memories.  I was back to being me.

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(WITH THE PRODUCTION CREW BY THE FORTRESS-EL MORRO IN SAN JUAN)

Production finished the last week of July 2012.  As in any production, there can be obstacles that can risk a movie to be finished and/or released.  So was the case with Mi Princesa.  Some of the crew parted ways, footage was given to the editing team later than expected, while other footage was lost with really important scenes we will not get to see.  The editing went from hands of the crew in Puerto Rico to another company in Chicago, which is Director Carlos Jimenez Flores’ hometown.

Three months ago I received a phone call the day after Thanksgiving of 2013 in which I was notified of some scenes that were missing that needed to be shot.  And off to Chicago I went.  I was pretty excited.  Not only was I going to go back to portray the character of Mayra which I loved, but I was also going to do it in a completely new scenario for me, SNOW!

Yep, I had never seen snow and traveling to Chicago to shoot three more scenes for the movie allowed me to go through this experience for the first time ever!!  I was feeling like a little kid!

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So here I was in cold Chicago shooting scenes that were supposed to be in warm Puerto Rico.  Fortunately the scenes were shot inside.

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(WITH DIRECTOR CARLOS JIMENEZ FLORES)

MI PRINCESA is a beautiful film which includes culture, traditions, love, beautiful images, friendships, music, family and the art of being able to forgive.  It is amazing to me how I started shooting this film coming from a broken heart and finished it a year and a half later in love with an amazing man God was saving for me.  His name is Fabian Alicastro, a Colombian singer/songwriter/producer who happens to have a song in Mi Princesa.

Things happen for a reason! Sometimes you have to go back home, to your roots, to your self in order to move forward.  Trust in God that everything in life has a purpose and with love and faith you are going to be all right!
I want to share with you a teaser for MI PRINCESA.

This film will be premiering in Fine Arts, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico on June 17th, 2015.

If you want more information you can contact me at darlavaz@gmail.com or through my twitter page http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

Love,

Darlene

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© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 Steps To Burning Belly Fat!

One of the main issues we have when it comes to dieting and working out is  how do we get rid of our belly fat?  Contrary to what many believe, doing crunches is not the best and only answer to this question.  There are other important factors to consider when you want to start seeing that 6-pack.

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SLEEP

 In one study people that got six-seven hours of sleep per night gained less visceral (abdominal) fat over five years compared to those who slept five or fewer hours or eight hours or more per night. When we are tired we produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat building foods. Losing sleep can alter your hormone production, affecting cortisol levels. Cortisol is what breaks down lean muscle (type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently). It also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. Resting up and sleeping is very beneficial for our bodies so don’t feel guilty if your body is telling you to relax and go to sleep.

 

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress causes high levels of cortisol secretion and now we know what these do to our bodies. Vitamin C is highly recommended as it helps balance the cortisol. Bell peppers, kale, kiwi and orange juice are a great source. Aside from the scientific explanation of how having altered anxiety levels affect your body, there is also what you do when you are feeling this way. Think about what you do when you are stressed. While some people go out and exercise, others indulge in alcohol, pick up smoking or sit down in front of the T.V. and eat, eat, eat. None of these are good for your body and this is why finding a way to manage your stress is a step towards being healthy.

 

EXERCISE

As stated before, it will take more than just crunches to lose that belly fat. In terms of exercise, engaging in multiple muscle groups is better than just doing those sit-ups. These are some exercises that you can add:

  • ½ hour of aerobic exercise four times a week
  • Jogging
  • Walking rapidly at an incline on a treadmill
  • Rowing
  • Stationary bikes

Planking (hold yourself in push up position) 3-4 sets of 30 seconds each.  Below are some examples:

 

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DIET

After all, what you consume is what ultimately is going to help you the most when it comes to weight loss and toning up your body. There is no particular diet for belly fat but when you lose weight, the belly fat is what usually goes first. It takes fat to burn fat so it is okay to eat fat, but know which are the ones you should be consuming. Foods rich in Omega 3’s such as salmon, avocados and walnuts are a good source of fat. It is also recommended to eat natural fat burners such as cayenne pepper, green tea and flax seeds.

Stop the junk food!  Reduce calorie intake as your body will end up using stored belly fat and you will see a reduced waist line. Cut the sugar intake, as well as the alcohol which is packed with calories. Okay! Okay! If you will not give in with this last one, at least find out which alcoholic beverages have the least amount of calories. Stay away from the drink mixes with juices, unless they are natural.

Juicing.  And talking about juices, natural juices can burn fat, cleanse your body and shrink your stomach. Many people have turned into juicing and classes are even offered for those who want to make it part of their daily diet. Carrot, Melon, Pineapple, Berries, Watermelon are great examples of juices that will be of great benefit to your overall health.

Clean your kitchen. Get rid of all the junk and focus on what you want to put into your body. Chop up meals. I prefer having smaller meals throughout the day than three heavy ones. It keeps me satisfied and I end up picking healthier choices. Take some time after you eat before getting more food. I used to finish eating and immediately go for a second serving. A friend of mine recommended for me to wait a couple of minutes before getting up to get that second one. It was true what she meant when she said that the body is already full but you don’t realize it unless you take some minutes before getting up again. Now, I stay there in front of an empty plate and realize that it was all mental. You are full and you don’t need to go get more food. Last but not least, DRINK WATER!

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Hope you found this helpful and are able to practice it towards that goal that we all have at some point:  Loose the belly fat!!!

 

Darlene 

 

 

You can also read this at: http://www.clubfashionista.com/2014/01/4-steps-to-burn-belly-fat.html#sthash.wh4I10bA.dpuf

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 Trendy Diets for 2014

 TIPS ON LOSING THOSE EXTRA POUNDS

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Receiving a new year is always exciting as we take notes of what we learned from the past and what we want to achieve in the present and future.  We are filled with goals, wishes, dreams, plans and of course, resolutions.  I am pretty sure that you will agree with me when I say that the number one resolution people have when starting a new year is to lose weight. As part of the process of shredding those extra pounds you could have involuntarily welcomed into your system during the holidays, comes the dreaded word:  DIET!

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There are plenty of diets out there to choose from.  I believe that it is very important to consider your lifestyle, the specific goals you have and your health condition.  I want to share with you some interesting diets that I came across while doing some research on the topic.

THE FORKING DIET

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This concept debuted in France in a book called Dine Avec Une Fourchette.  It is very simple and more than a diet, I would say it is more a way of eating.  Silverware is the important aspect of this particular method of losing weight as you can only eat what you can spear with a FORK.  There is a French adage that says that you should have breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper.  With the Fork it Method you have three meals a day.  There are few restrictions for breakfast and lunch.  But at dinnertime, you are only allowed to consume foods that are naturally eaten with a fork.  Among those foods are some veggies, pasta, salmon and only white meats such as chicken and turkey.  So, no cheating with pizza, burgers and steak.  I believe that every diet has its pros and cons.  One of the parts that I did not like about this particular one is that you are not allowed to eat sashimi, edamame or any other Asian food because of the use of chopsticks and/or hands.  Aside from Puerto Rican cuisine, Japanese food is one of my favorites and there is no way that I would ever leave my sushi behind.  Also, you are not allowed to snack under the Fork It Method and I love doing it throughout the day.  This diet is based on three meals a day and I do think that it is better for your metabolism to have several small healthy meals a day.  On the positive side, this method is very easy to implement and maintain, as well as safe to practice.  For more information, food suggestions and different options depending on your goals, you can visit

www.forkitdiet.com.


5:2 DIET

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Developed by health journalists Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer, the 5:2 or 2 Day Diet promotes short term weight loss.  You can eat normally for five days of the week and then restrict calories to 500 (600 for men) for the other two days.  Although there is limited evidence as to how much weight is lost, some have admitted to losing up to 1.5lbs a week while undergoing the two non-consecutive days of fasting.  This is a diet that I would definitely consider.   It is not about going crazy the other five days of the week but you have the flexibility of choosing what you eat and then for two days you keep count of the calorie intake.  An example:  Breakfast (2 scrambled eggs with ham and green tea, water or black coffee) Lunch/Dinner (Grilled fish/meat with vegetables).  For menu ideas you can go to http://www.thefastdiet.co.uk/

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FLEXITARIAN DIET

Although I don’t see myself ever going the vegetarian route, I found this diet pretty interesting.  Flexitarian is obviously a combination of the words flexible and vegetarian with the philosophy that you don’t have to eliminate meat completely to receive the health benefits associated with vegetarianism.  Although meat is limited, the diet does contain approximately 50 grams of protein daily.  The Flexitarian diet can inspire people to eat less meat and more plant-based meals.  It teaches you to add more disease fighting and earth friendly plant foods to your diet.  Examples of foods that are acceptable in this diet are:  The “new” meat (tofu, lentils and beans), peas, nuts, seeds and eggs.  Also, fruits and veggies, whole grains, sugar, spice and one of my favorites:  Agave nectar sweetener!  (This is the only one I use on my coffee)  There are different stages on this diet.  Beginners can do two meatless days a week and then progress to three or four.

If you think this is the diet for you, I strongly recommend reading this book.  It gives you a range of options, recipes, meal plans, tips on losing weight and it can serve as an introduction to vegetarianism.

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THE REBEL DIET

Former gymnast, Dr. Melissa Hershberg breaks the rules of dieting with her own Rebel Diet.  Under less strict conditions this diet helps you stay fit and improve your nutrition, energy and health.  You can skip breakfast, consume coffee, carbs, sweets, chocolates and breads.  This diet works for the person that is constantly on the go.  You can eat everything but in moderation.   Hunger deprivation can lead to rebound weight gain so this type of diet may work better for those who do like to eat.  In her book, Dr. Hershberg offers medical insight on some diet myths we constantly hear about and she offers plans that allow you to keep eating those foods that you enjoy.

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Remember that there are plenty of diets out there that can help you achieve your goals.  Try to choose the one that works best for YOU, not necessarily your friend or a relative.  It should be easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss, against diabetes and heart disease.

I want to wish you all a happy and healthy 2014!!!

You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com

Darlene  Vazquetelles

www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

20 Things Men Should NOT Do On A First Date

20 THINGS MEN SHOULD NOT DO ON A FIRST DATE

Combining past experiences I have had in the dating scene with stories told to me by some of my girlfriends I came up with this list of the top 20 things a man should NOT do when taking us on a first date.  Starting with the top answer I received, here is the list of those things he would do that will have us ignoring his phone calls later.
(I have changed names in order to protect privacy of friends and ex dates)

1. AGGRESIVENESS

Jessica: “I was having an amazing dinner with this guy that I was really starting to like. The conversation went well and there was definitely a connection…until we left the restaurant and he walked me to my car.  He grabbed me and started kissing me in a very forceful way.  It was not a sweet, reciprocated first date kiss.  It was the total opposite and in an instant that aggressiveness completely turned me off.”

There is a time for everything.  Being too touchy on the first date only shows that the person is desperate.  It can be very uncomfortable.  We are just getting to know you and for most of us, it is more about finding out who you are than to feeling your hands (or tongue) all over us.

Having sex on the first date has worked for some couples but in the majority of the cases it is the end of what has not even started.  We could easily be left with this thought:  Is this what he does with every woman he asks out?

Aside from physical aggressiveness there is also the one that could happen during conversation.  Asking too many personal questions on a first date can also make us feel uncomfortable. As I said, there is a time for everything and topics during a first date should be kept light and simple.

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2. CELLPHONES

Getting to know a girl should be the reason why she is being taken out on a date.  So, it is pretty much common sense that the cellphone should be put away by both parties.

LESLIE: “I once went out with a guy who had me ask for a table while he ran out to the parking lot to go get his cellphone.  I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt thinking he did not want it stolen from his car, but as the night went on, every minute was worse than the one before.  He had his cellphone on the table the whole time, constantly checking it, texting and even changing his Facebook status a couple of times.  I was tempted to do the same and change it to SOMEONE PLEASE GET ME OUT OF THIS HORRIBLE DATE! (Tagging his name along with the status update).”

Put that phone away and focus on your date.  Enough said.  This actually goes beyond dates.  When you have someone in front of you, try to stay away from playing with your cell.

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3. LOCATION LOCATION

Taking your date out to a loud place where you cannot hear each other is a bad idea.  If going out dancing or to a concert is your idea of a great date night, make sure there is some quiet time prior to the party scene.  We want to get to know you before anything else and this is why we accepted your invitation.  This guy Antonio who I was very much attracted to asked me out and it was fine with me that he chose a local club that played great live music.  I knew this place had a patio area where we could sit and talk.  It was not the ideal place for a first date but I was open to going out with him.  We had a good conversation even with the music coming from the room next door and with all the distractions that came from all the people walking around us.  But, I cannot say that it was the best date as it was pretty noisy and uncomfortable to carry on a conversation.

Going to the movies is one of the top invitations I have received when asked out by a man. It is also my first no-no as to where I prefer to go.  You spend two hours of your date on complete silence, watching a movie that you might like but then, you might also hate.  And there goes that date.  I got to know your lousy choice of movies and absolutely nothing else about you.  Movies are good for couples that have already passed those first dates.

4. SELF-ABSORPTION

With the intention of making himself look good a man might tend to talk too much about what he has, or pretends to have.  Showing off your expensive car, jet, villa in Europe, the condo in Miami or the yacht at the nearest marina will not impress us that much.  Even if he has all of these, there is a way and a time to let us know.  On our first date we just want to know who you are, not everything you possess. When the conversation turns more into a pitch for us to choose you as our man, only two things can happen:  The woman will date you only for your possessions or you will not hear from her again.

Also, keep all your personal details for later.  Saying too much or too soon can scare anyone away.  Make it a dialogue and not a monologue.

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5. THE WANDERING EYE

MONICA:  “I was sitting at this bar with someone I was really into.  It was our first time out together after getting to know each other through phone conversations and social gatherings.  There was a connection there and we both knew that we liked each other. We walked into a bar to grab some drinks and dinner as we wanted to keep it more casual than a sit down fancy dinner date.  Twenty minutes into the date I lost his eyes.  As girls came in and walked by us, they took his eyes with them.  It is acceptable to admire a beautiful girl that walks by, but to stare at each and every girl that walks by, not so.  I kept it cool, ordered myself the most expensive wine and excused myself because I was “tired” and wanted to go home.  Let me call this: “I have an early meeting tomorrow morning.” Talk about a clueless man as he kept calling me to ask me out.  I did not waste my time giving him excuses or telling him why I was turned off by him.  I simply told him I was not interested.  He had been very rude and disrespectful and didn’t even notice. But, that was his problem, not mine.  My eye ended up wandering all the way to the man I married and now call my husband.”

6. DRINKING TO GET DRUNK

Having a glass of wine or a drink is a great way to chill out the nervousness that comes with first dates.  Overdoing it is the best way to kill the possibilities of a second.  Although this article is focused on what men should NOT do on a first date, the wrongdoing on getting drunk on this first outing goes for both men and women.

7. APPEARANCE

The same way we take the time to get ready and prep up, men should do the same.

SOFIA:  “I was once asked to dinner and got all dressed up only to open the door to a man wearing sneakers, ripped jeans, an overly washed t-shirt and a jacket that appeared to belong to a man three sizes bigger than his.  I was terrified.  Men should make that extra effort the same way that we do.

Smell is also very important. Make sure that you wear a good cologne without overdoing the amount of sprays.  Have some breathe mints on you just in case. Clean up the car before you pick her up.  These to do’s before you leave the house are simple but trust me, we do notice.

8. MAKING IT A GROUP DATE

Although it was our second date, being that we had not seen each other for some time because of some traveling for work, I was excited to meet up with Ricardo.  We had been communicating via phone and email and were very excited to see each other again.  I drove to his place and got into his car for our dinner date, only to find that my seat was in the back.  He had two other people in the car and on our drive to the restaurant I felt I was in a business meeting rather than that date that we were supposed to be having.  And this business-date-meeting lasted for two hours where my disappointment levels increased by the minute.

Taking a girl out on what is supposed to be a date and inviting other people without prior discussion should never happen.  The only way it could be acceptable is if both of you talk about it and it is okay with her.  Still, this situation on a first date is not the way to go as the plan of getting to know one another will be disrupted.  It is a time where you should remember:  Not open for Business!

9.  RUDENESS

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Being rude to people does not make you more manly.

ROSE:  “I was finally asked out by Fernando.  There were so many things I liked about him just by what I have heard from other people and the brief times we had hung out at social events.  He picked me up and my heart was beating like crazy.  He smelled so good and looked great!  We went to a beautiful sushi restaurant that I had wanted to go for months.  Every little thing he did and said to me was perfect and my heart was very content.  It was one of those situations where everything just flowed in perfect symmetry.  And then came the waitress.  I had never felt this embarrassed in my life.  The poor lady was being treated in the worst possible way by my date.  From the moment she came to our table to the moment we left, he made this woman’s time miserable.  The way he spoke to her and made her feel less important than us was unbearable.  As we walked out to leave,  I went back into the restaurant pretending I had to visit the restroom.  I just wanted to talk to her.  I apologized for what had just happened and for my horrible taste in men.  This was obviously the first and last time I went out with him.”

No matter who you are there is no need to be rude to others, especially someone who is there to serve you.

10. NEGATIVITY

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This one goes hand in hand with being rude to people.  Talking bad about others while on a date shows lack of sensitivity.  If you are upset at a friend or relative, keep it to yourself but don’t take your first date as a venting session.  Who wants to be around a person that is full of complaints and pessimistic behavior?   It leads us to believe that you are weak and carry too much emotional drama.

11. THE EX FACTOR

First dates are an opportunity to see if there is a romantic connection with someone you already started to like.  It is in present time and the two should take the opportunity to find out if there is a chance.  Don’t think too much about the future.  Analyzing if this is the woman/man that you want to marry and have children with is putting too much pressure on the other person and yourself.  Bringing the past to the table is also a way of creating tension.

One of the biggest turn offs is when a man you are out with tells you that he just broke up with his girlfriend.  Who wants to feel that they are on the rebound seat?  Although some women want to know why it did not work out with your ex, a first date is not the right moment.  We do not want to hear it in that precise moment when the focus should be on each other.  Asking about our ex’s it is not the way to go either.  It is a waste of time on both parts if the discussion on the past relationships takes place, at least on your first night going out.

12. ONLINE FAKERS

LAURA: “We met on a dating website. I was very much into this man that I met online and shared great connection with.  We finally set up a date to meet at a local coffee shop.  Some people photograph very different from what they actually look like. But then there is the person that knowingly puts a picture out there that was probably taken ten years ago just because he looked better at the time.  And this was the case with my coffee shop date.  Not only did he look completely different, but his height was way off from what his profile said. I saw him and just walked away.  He didn’t even see me.  What upset me the most was that he lied. It is not about not being attracted to the man I was looking at, it was the fact that he was not being honest right from the start. “

I am a big supporter of online dating.  I know of happily married couples that met this way. Not everyone is into going out to clubs and bars, so trying to meet someone this way is a great way to put yourself out there and meet people.  There should be no need in altering who you are to “impress” someone.  You are blocking your own way to meet someone who will like you for who you are.

13. ZERO CONVERSATION

First date conversations can go two ways:  A dialogue that flows without too much effort or one where you end up looking around for someone to come and save you.  Being out with a boring person that has absolutely nothing to talk about is torture.  Men that just sit there and look handsome will not cut it for us.  It takes courage to ask a girl out.  Therefore, leave the shyness at home and don’t be afraid to be yourself and speak out.

14. CHECK PLEASE

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Okay.  Before the men start throwing the “Times have changed and women are more independent,” card on me, let me be clear.  It is fine to split the bill on dates, just not the first one or two.  I know.  Times are rough and like I said, things have changed throughout the years.  But, on a FIRST date you guys should pick up the tab.  Call me old-fashioned but this is the way it should be.  It shows you are a gentleman and that you appreciate the time you just spent with her.

15. HANDS ON HER PLATE

As crazy as it sounds this does happen.

CLARISSA: “I will never forget when I went out with this guy and everything was going well until he took a piece of chicken from my plate.  He wanted to try it and thought it was okay to grab it from my plate without even asking.”

So men, if you want to try something from her plate, just ask and I am sure it will be fine with her to put some on YOUR plate.  You are not three years old anymore.  I am laughing as I write this but unfortunately it has happened to more than one person that I know.

16. THE STALKER

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This is the guy that knows everything about you.  He has been on your online profiles and studied every single detail about your life.  You go out on a date with him and it becomes creepy.  Not only does he know about your hobbies, work, family and friends and makes sure that you know that, but then he says so by staring at you.  Ahh!!  Stalker mode on full blast mode.

He then agrees on everything you say, at times not even allowing you to finish your sentences.  Men:  Even if you have practiced the online Psycho 101 course on your date, don’t let her know that by telling her everything you found out when you googled her or whichever way you went to “stalk her”.  It is completely and absolutely uncool and she will run away faster than you can say, “Please call me!!”

17. BAD TIME MANAGEMENT

You are not the only one out there asking us out.  If you really like a girl and take that step and ask her out, respect that she does have a life.  Being late without further notice is a no-no.  Calling and setting up the date at the last minute might show that she was a last minute thought or simply the second choice.  Cancelling more than once is also a sign that you are not taking this date too seriously.  Be honest if something comes up and you cannot make it but if you do this a second time, don’t expect her to accept the next invitation.

Also, we do not want to be on a date in which you are constantly checking your watch.  If you don’t want to be there, what was the whole point of asking her out.  If you are not into her anymore and the date has not gone as planned, at least be decent and finish what you started.  Her time is as valuable as yours.  By now, she probably doesn’t want to be there either so finish up and let her go.  She will thank you for that.

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18. PROTECTING/OVER PROTECTING

As my friend Linda says, “Being rude or defensive when someone hits on you at the bar, or not being protective of you when someone is annoyingly hitting on you at the bar.”  I love her statement!  We want to feel protected, even if we are just friends.

19. NOT ESCORTING HER

Even if she drove herself to the date, men should escort their dates.  Always make sure that they make it to their cars safely and a phone call to know she made it home safe is always a great way to end a date.
20. MIND GAMES

If the date went well, don’t be afraid to let her know.  Ignore the three day “rule” and follow up.  Dating is not easy, especially with all the social media sites.  Some men rely on checking out your profile to see what you are up to instead of calling.  If there was a spark and everything went well on your first date stop playing games and plan for a second.

LADIES:  If dating a certain man is becoming too stressful, it is time to move on.  Trust me when I say, there is always someone better out there and you know you found him when everything just feels right!

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Love and Light,

Darlene

http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com (January)

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Give your Life a Tune-Up!

I want to share with you once again my article on how to make your life better by making simple changes.  I believe it is  a great read to start off the new year.

Wishing you all a happy and blessed 2014!!

Love,

Darlene

Give your Life a Tune-Up!.

 

What Women Want: Top 6 Qualities We Look for in a Man

Writing about relationships could be a little tricky.  There are so many factors to consider, such as age.  What you want in your 20s will probably change when you hit the 3rd floor. Lifestyles, past experiences, socioeconomic background and culture could also be very influential in any type of relationship.

When looking for love there is a question that I consider to be a common denominator between everybody, no matter where you came from, how old you are or your past and present circumstances. “WHAT DO WOMEN/MEN WANT?”  The answer to this question is crucial to demystify the opposite sex.  Being that I am a woman, I will talk about what WE want versus what MEN think we want.  Every woman has their own list of qualities they look for in a man.  Based on my own experiences and what I learned when speaking with many of my female and male friends, the following six qualities women look for in the opposite sex tend to be the most misunderstood by men.

1.  SENSE OF HUMOR

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According to a survey done by Men’s Health Magazine to more than 1,000 American women ages 21 to 54, 77% of women ranked Sense of Humor as their number one must-have in a man, beating out passion, confidence, intelligence and generosity.  These last four play a very important role in a man’s personality.  But, I have to agree that sense of humor is a key element in a relationship.

Men think we want                                                                                                            I have told guy friends that I look for sense of humor in a man and most do not believe me. Some men think that all a woman wants is a good looking man with green eyes, a six pack, a pearly white smile, perfect hair, and a big heavy wallet.  Although the aforementioned sounds appealing, personality is very important and without it the other assets will end up simply boring us.

What We Want
A man that you can have interesting, fun conversations with.  Mental stimulation is very important.  A woman will be happy if she is out with a man who can show that he is intelligent through eloquence and at the same time be witty.  Someone that does not take himself too seriously is a plus.  Humor often shows that a man is confident, clever and can be there to cheer you up when you are having a bad day.  Careful guys, we are not looking for a clown. Don’t overdo it. With all the fun and laughs some real conversations might be missed and we don’t want that. Also, conversations go both ways so talk, ask and listen!

The aim is to have a great time with someone no matter the time, place or circumstance.  In life you encounter the good and the bad.  Being able to share your sorrows and laughter with someone by your side is what we want.  Sharing the burdens and the happiness builds beautiful chemistry, and once you build those experiences together, the road ahead seems a lot less bumpy for the two of you.

2.  NO GAMES

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In an era where so many people communicate via text, Facebook, Twitter, among so many others, there has been a loss of picking up the phone and making an actual phone call.  This was one of the first scenarios I dreaded after my last relationship ended.  I was scared of going back to the whole dating scene because of the games involved with early dating.

Men think we want
Men tend to believe that they will make us like them more if they are mysterious and unavailable.  For instance, the man will stop calling or texting after the first couple of dates. They show little interest in our lives, but then they click “like” on our picture on Facebook, showing us they are still around.  Although this behavior can drive us crazy for a second,  all it takes is one night out with our girlfriends and a real man calling us to forget about you and your games.

What we want
We pretty much want someone who is reliable, trustworthy, honest and real!  If we went out and had a great night, there should be no games lined up.  If you say you are going to call, then call.  It is okay to receive a text message, an email,… but, it should be combined with phone calls.  If you like us, let us know.  If you want to ask us out, do it.  Life is short and options are endless, so playing games will end up being a complete waste of time and energy. Keep it REAL.

3.  ROMANCE & SEX

“In these times romance has been lost.”  I have heard this over and over again, but I have also learned that it is not completely true.  I have recently experienced that this is generalizing on the idea.  There are plenty of men out there that still know how to show their girls how romance is still alive.  Some don’t believe in it.  Some show it in their completely different and at times ‘strange’ ways, but it does exist.

Men think we want                                                                                                Opening car doors, buying flowers for your girl, telling her how beautiful she looks, who does that?  A high percentage of men think that they do not need to do that for their girls, especially when they have been in the relationship for a long time. Today women are more independent, leading men to believe that they really do not have to make too much effort to build-up a relationship and romance a girl.

What we want                                                                                                  AFFECTION, AFFECTION, AFFECTION!  Guess what guys?  We do want flowers, kisses, hugs, for you to hold our hands and shower us with compliments.  We like manners, chivalry and gentlemen qualities in a man.  We like to know that you are happy to be with us and you appreciate us.  There is nothing wrong with getting the princess treatment.  Hint:  If you treat us like a princess, there is a strong possibility that we will be motivated to show you our appreciation later.

And talking about that….Yes, we do like sex.  Good compatibility is an important factor in a relationship.  We can be your princess outside the bedroom and your seductress inside. But, we do have some petitions.

Many men do not understand that there are some stages and bases to cover before the act. We do like to cover these stages.  Yes, let’s welcome Mr. Foreplay to this article!  Sweet kisses, whispers and shoulder rubbing.  Be creative and be patient.

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Other ways of showing your romantic side:

Be accommodating to her needs, but not appearing spineless.

Allow her to make decisions that affect the two of you.

Protect your woman.  Take charge and step up in times of conflict.  I am not talking about conflict between the two of you, but any circumstance that occurs outside of the relationship.  One of the situations that hurt me the most in my past relationship had to do with this.  Always have her back when someone else is disrespecting her.  This goes both ways.

Respect her opinions, friends, family, hobbies, interests, body and mind.

4.  COMMUNICATION

This one is a strong key for any relationship, especially if one of you is constantly traveling for work.  Busy lives combined with quick communication via texts or emails can lead to misinterpreted messages.  At times, one of you may end up assuming one thing or the other and it all becomes a mess.  Assuming is a communication killer.  Always ask and listen.  Also, couples should be able to talk when the parties are calm and can focus on each other.

Men think                                                                                                                    Many men have trouble verbalizing their feelings.  They step back and settle in their ‘man caves’.  According to them we are too emotional and argue over nonsense.  They let us talk, let it out of our system and then just stay there quiet. On the other hand, some men will say what we want to hear just to make us happy and that does not work.  Dishonesty is not the answer.

What we want
What men can see as nonsense might be of huge importance for us.  At times we become all emotional, especially during that time of month, but with some understanding between both parts, no argument should erupt.  All we want is someone to hear us when we need to vent.

After reading “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, I learned one of the biggest communication lessons ever.  There is no point on trying to settle an issue while both sides are upset.  Each one should walk away and then try to settle it out when the air is clearer. Otherwise, words that are not meant to be said could be thrown out there and can be hurtful to one or the other.  The problem here is that walking away could be misinterpreted as, “I do not care so let me go to the next room.”  Make sure you do mention that you need some time to think and cool off.   Again, it goes both ways.

Honesty is also an important ingredient when it comes to relationships.  You want to let him know what you want and he should be able to do the same.  At the end of the day, all a woman wants is to know that her man is thinking about her.

So when you take that trip or have to work late, add your woman to your schedule.  There should be some time for a phone call and if possible some Skype.  It doesn’t take too much time to let us know that you care.

5.  GROOMING

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Men think                                                                                                                            Some people might think that men who take care of themselves, for example by going out for pedicures/manicures  are not straight.  There is a lot of insecurity and ignorance in that thought.  There is absolutely no problem with cleaning up, as long as you don’t overdo it and turn it into a one man runway show.

What we want                                                                                                               Both sexes work with their hands and feet.  Manis and Pedis are unisex!!  We all deserve it.

A relaxed sex appeal is better.

Cologne:  We like a good scent but make sure you don’t spray half the bottle on you.  It is such a turn off to be able to taste your cologne just by kissing you hello.

Although unibrows are never attractive, eyebrow shaping/waxing is for girls!!!

Dress up. We really don’t care which brand of underwear you have on so put those jeans up. Belts! Belts! Belts! Make that effort to look good. We do notice.  Obviously, it all depends on where you are going.  If you are taking your girl to a nice restaurant, leave the flip flops and ripped t-shirt at home.  Like they say, there is a time and place for everything and wearing a blazer does go a long way.  We like to dress up for our men, even when it’s just to go to the beach or sporting event, so pretend the dress code in your invitation to see us says Dress to Impress.

6.  FINANCIAL SECURITY                                                                                          How can I leave this one out when most of the men I asked regarding this topic on what they think women want answered MONEY.

Men think                                                                                                                           I guess these guys have been asking the wrong girls out.  I admit that there are many women out there that focus on getting the man that earns the most $$$ or has a successful social reputation.  I do not want to generalize here because most of us (at least in my circle) consider everything else I covered in the sections above more important than just money.
Many men tend to drive themselves crazy.  They put all their focus on work and being able to provide for their families. They understand that if there is no financial security, having a family will be almost impossible.  They focus on working in order to provide.  It is a logical situation. But then, balance between work and their relationship is sometimes lost.

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What we want                                                                                                                Just as men focus on their financial stability, nowadays a high percentage of women do the same.  I want to include myself here as I would never want to be in a position where I have to stay with someone just because I cannot stand on my own financially speaking.
Finances have played a major role in how relationships have changed throughout times. More and more couples are moving in together before marriage.  Living expenses, credit cards, student loans have increased with time.  Now co-habitating relationships are more socially acceptable and often seen as economically advantageous.

Still, the financial independence between the two does exist.  As men tend to feel threatened by past divorces, possibilities of alimony and child support, women feel pressure to have financial freedom before thinking about motherhood.  But even as we focus on career and that autonomy, we also look for that happily ever after with a husband.  We look for that balance that I feel sometimes men tend to lose.

As much as we love seeing them going out and having a career, especially if it is a job that they are passionate about, we also want them to spend time with us.  This is where that balance should come in.  We want quality time.  It can be just sitting at home, cooking together, doing house work or a simple walk around the neighborhood.

These are the moments that help a couple reach more intimacy.

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Relationships are not as complex as some make them seem.  It is a matter of communication, understanding and respect.  Know the other person’s needs and don’t ever try to change them.

This has been a fun article to write and as I mentioned before, I did it based on what I have seen, experienced, learned and researched among my friends.

I want to end it up by reassuring you guys that contrary to what many of you believe, it does not matter how independent your girl is and how finances are an important part of society, especially in these times, women are more receptive of romantic gestures than anything else.  It is not about the gentleman versus the bad guy.  It is not about  who has money and who is struggling.  It is about having someone who makes us feel loved and that no matter what, we can openly trust. Once this exists in the relationship, every step taken together will be more meaningful for both the man and the woman.
Darlene
http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Technology Overuse: What are you missing when you don’t put it away.

There is a huge possibility that you are reading this article on your mobile phone.  There is even a bigger possibility that you are accompanied by a friend that is either on her/his own phone or upset that you are on yours.
By now we should all be aware of the great impact smartphones have on our society.  All of this as a consequence of the Facebook/Twitter revolution.  These two are now followed by other sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, …  Communication via social media has created a great frenzy throughout the years.  Some people find it important and necessary to let everyone know what they are doing at all times.

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If you are promoting your company or career through social media, posting at all times would be something essential as part of the marketing strategy.  But, a great amount of people have made it so imperative in their lives that they end up giving more importance to this piece of technology than to the person or scenario in front of them.

THE RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE
It is so sad when you see three out of four people sitting at a table bowing their heads down to their phones.  It is okay to take it out if you want to show something to someone because there is an actual interaction with the person sitting next to you.  It is also okay to take a phone call by excusing yourself from the table, especially for parents who left their kids with a babysitter for the night.  But, there is nothing like a nice dinner and eye to eye conversation where you are able to put your phone in your pocket or purse and enjoy the company.

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(One particular restaurant in the U.S.A. has introduced a ‘NO Phone During Dinner’ policy, wherein the customers cannot use their cellphones while having dinner; and in return, the restaurant offers a 5% discount off their total bill. By Guide5 on Pinterest)

UNNECESSARY DISTRACTION AT THE MOVIES
Our cellies not only can be a distraction to yourself at a movie theater, but also to the people sitting around you.  That bright light that comes up when you are texting and the phone call you answered in the middle of the movie is very distracting and annoying.  How hard can it be to disconnect yourself for 90 minutes?

LIVE CONCERTS SHOULD BE KEPT ‘LIVE’
So you pay $$$ to go see a live show of your favorite artist and as soon as he/she comes up on stage, you have that urge to get it on camera.  That is fine.  These are cool memories that you want to be able to have and to share.  Now, it can go a little bit overboard when you end up watching the entire show through the screen on your cell phone.  You spend the whole time taking videos or pictures and end up missing what you came out to see.
After taking the picture comes the making sure it came out all right.  Then you start editing by cropping and finding that perfect filter.  Tweet it, post it and tag it!  You should be done now, right?  Wrong!  Now, lets see who ‘liked’ it, who commented and then start replying.  Before you know it, you have missed the essence of being there in real time, watching the ‘live’ show.  This same process happens in any other social activity or event.  I miss the times when you would take the picture and then have to wait to get it printed in order to see it.  Nowadays, we don’t wait until we get home to do the editing and sharing.  We have that urge of doing it at the moment.  I say WE because in more occasions that I would like to admit, I have been one of those.  At the end, I end up being upset at myself because it made me miss a great play at a sporting event or a great part of an artist’s performance at their show.

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KNOWING THE WHEN AND WHERE
I believe that it is very important to step away from technology and enjoy what is going on around you.  If you invite people over, focus on them.  Whoever is not there does not need your full attention when other people are there waiting for you to finish texting, posting, reading your newsfeed, checking out what is new on Instagram or what your favorite artist had for dinner through Twitter.  Prioritize in life.

I cannot say the same thing happens with computers, as they are not as accesible on a minute to minute basis.  Most of the time you sit in front of a computer and it is to work or do something else that requires attention.  But with the cell phones, there should be some sort of self restrictions being that we have them on us every single time of day.
It is okay to play games and browse through all the great applications out there while you are alone or waiting at a Doctor’s office.  Along with reading a good book you have left behind on the bookshelf at home,  these can be really good ways to make time go by faster.
Don’t get me started with the texting and driving.  You are not only risking your life but you are also risking the other driver, cyclist or pedestrian’s life.
Knowing in what situations to throw your focus on your cell phone and when to put it aside is about respect, to you and others.

THE NEW GENERATION
Recently I saw the change in two teenagers and their friendship when their cellphones were taken away by their parents because of grade issues.  I attended one of my nephew’s sporting events and they are the sisters of two of the other players.  I noticed how they were more or less the same age, sitting close to each other but had absolutely no interaction with one another.  One was on Instagram and the other one I am not sure, probably the same.  For one hour and a half they stood there looking at their phones, missing their brothers’ game and whatever could have been going on around them.  A few weeks later they ended up being punished right at the same time because of bad grades at school (I wonder why).  One of the days at the baseball game, they had no choice but to watch the game, talk and interact with each other.  Soon enough they were laughing, talking and having simple, non-technological fun.  To this day, they have become best friends.  I love how when they got their phones back, they still managed to leave them in their pockets and admitted to not having that need to check them constantly anymore.  They started living the moment.
There should be some time restrictions for children, teenagers and adults as to the usage.  There is no problem with shutting it down for a bit.  Again, not everybody can do this because of some work requirements or other situations where you need to be reached.  But if this is not the case, it is totally fine to just put it away and do something more meaningful.

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I am not going to be a hypocrite and say that I practice all of this.  But, watching these different situations on a daily basis and actually have had friends and family ask me to put my phone away, I am more and more aware of how it is something that needs to be changed.  I feel that everyday I am getting better at it and it really feels great.  I don’t have as many pictures on my phone anymore that were taken with the cyber sharing purpose in mind and I don’t post everything that is going on in my life.  I have been able to enjoy life more, appreciating what is going on at the moment, and have also learned to keep many personal things out of the social media eye.  Privacy can be very rewarding, especially when starting a new relationship.

A must watch video on the subject:

Now, share this article and put your phone away!!!

With Love,

Darlene

http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The latest video of ALICASTRO (singer/songwriter/producer)

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I want to share with you the talent of Colombian singer/songwriter/producer ALICASTRO and I happen to be his proud girlfriend!  He has been awarded as the Audience Favorite Artist by Telemundo Network. This is his new video called ‘Ya me cansé’. Anyone that has been in that situation when you want to break up with someone can relate to this song.

Some translation on the chorus (this is the literal English translation so it won’t really rhyme 🙂

“I am tired of begging and begging
and I always end up being at fault.
You don’t even care, you could care less,
You never listen to me.
I am tired of trying
and feeling that I am the puppet that you like to use
when you feel like it
If you know how to count, don’t count on me anymore
I am leaving with someone else.”

You can learn more about this amazing musician at http://www.alicastro.com
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Quiero compartir con ustedes el talento de el gran cantante/compositor/productor Colombiano, ALICASTRO de quien con mucho orgullo soy Novia.  Telemundo le otorgó el premio como el Artista Favorito de la Audiencia.
Este es su nuevo video le la canción ‘Ya me cansé’.  Las personas que han estado en esa situación donde han querido romper con una pareja se podrán identificar.

Para mas información de este gran músico pueden ir a su página  http://www.alicastro.com

(Aqui comparto foto tomada con mi amado en Cali, Colombia)

novia Alicastro Darlene

Give your Life a Tune-Up!

If I tell you that I can go back and read on what I was doing and how I was feeling on a DAILY basis from the year 2002 up to 2004, you would probably think that I am crazy.  Crazy for “wasting” my time writing everything down and/or crazy for going back and reading it years later.  Too much time in my hands?  At times, yes.  At other times, just curiosity as to: “I wonder what I was doing on this day two years ago?”

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The one thing that I learned, aside from the fact that I used to spend a lot of time eating, was that whatever was hurting me back then, makes me laugh now.  I would often waste my time overthinking about what I see now as insignificant matters.  Have you ever been there?  For example, have you ever found a letter you wrote to an ex that you never gave to him or her and then realized “Uff…I am so glad I didn’t.”?  Priorities and perspectives change with time and that is one of the beauties of our life cycles.  One lesson to take from these moments where you glimpse at the past is that life will bring you pain and disappointments, but it is how you see, react and swing at these curveballs, what will eventually lead you through them.  One of my favorite sayings is that, “Everything happens for a reason”.  When we look back at the past and how we reacted to certain circumstances, we feel that we would have reacted differently if we would have known that at the end, everything was going to be just fine.  Still, those moments are what made us who we are today.  We live, we learn, we grow and we keep on moving.  As to the present:  I want to share with you what I believe can make your life a little better 🙂

ME TIME!!!

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These are the moments when you find yourself saying, “I need a break from everything.” I call mine ‘Darla time’ and by now my friends and family should know what this means, okay? 🙂 Although it can seem selfish, the truth is that these moments are important for you to communicate with yourself and listen to your needs.  Analyze how balanced your life is, or if there is a lack of.
Forget about work, politics, deadlines, blahs and blahs.  Yep, forget about everything but yourself.  Focus on your “NOW”,  on what makes you happy in this precise moment. What would you love to do? It can be another job or a hobby. It could be a trip or going to eat to that restaurant that you have been wanting to go to on  a “special occasion”.  Write these down and just start planning.  I don’t call it a bucket list because these are more simple and immediate things that you could be doing on a weekly and even daily basis to make your life a little brighter.  I went through a phase where everything was driving me crazy, especially myself. I was bored, uncertain about the future and pretty much just crawling through life.  As I was having one of these ‘Darla times’, I realized I wanted to start writing again.  It has kept me busy, entertained and happy as I get to express myself through something I really enjoy. Whether it’s painting, meditation, dancing, soccer, scrapbooking, playing an instrument, walking on your tip toes, skipping, or collecting pennies you find on the street, find something you enjoy and just do it.  Don’t ever think they are silly things.  If you like it.  Go for it!  Take this time to also think about what is not making you happy anymore and start letting go.  You can see examples on these as you keep reading.

BYE BYE JOB!!!
Title sounds great, right. Well, if you love what you do, then it shouldn’t sound great.  I know that finding a job during these times is not easy.  I am not telling you to go and quit your job just because you hate it.  But if you are miserable at work, I suggest you start looking for another way of making your money.  I know it is not that easy but “impossible” it is NOT.  Think about what you would love to be doing.  What would make YOU happy?  Then start researching all the possibilities.  The worst that can happen is that you find nothing, but at least you tried.  The best that can happen is that you end up quitting your yucky job and start getting paid doing something you truly LOVE.

SPIRITUALITY

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Find something you believe in and go to it when life gets tough.  Whichever religious beliefs you have or even when you don’t, it is a matter of having something that you can look at that will bring you a sense of peace and faith.  It can even be found through music.  Aside from entertaining, I truly believe that music has a great power of healing and therapy.  We all have that song that once it is played, our mood suddenly becomes lighter and happier!
Prayer has also been one of my escapes.  It is in times of turmoil that I found sanity and hope through prayer.  I read a lot of books and enjoy the words by preachers like Joel Osteen.  I have learned that God will not hand you anything that you cannot handle and at the end of the day, he has a plan for you.   Positivity is a must and I definitely understand how hard it is to see it at times.  Walking away from ugly thoughts is a must.  I try to use the word “cancelado”,  Spanish word for ‘cancelled’, everytime a negative thought crosses my mind. It sounds silly but it actually works!!  And talking about staying positive…lets go to the next thought:

WALK AWAY FROM NEGATIVE RELATIONSHIPS

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Keeping negative people away will make your life so much lighter.  Just a couple of months ago I was backstabbed by a so called friend and it is strange how I cried for five minutes and then a sense of peace invaded my life.  For years I had my doubts about this person and suddenly, it all became clear to me.  Negative people and negative thoughts will keep away the good from your life so let go so you can let in.
The same goes with love relationships.  Do not settle for someone that is not going to love and respect you the way that you should be.  I went through this and when things did not work out I felt my world was going to collapse.  Now,  I cannot be happier and I am grateful that it happened because now I appreciate that love and respect that I am receiving.  I’m a happy girl!  Everyone should be able to feel this, but it takes letting go of what does not feel right.

GO OUT!!

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Yep, go out hiking, shopping, jogging, drinking, dancing, singing!  Be loud, get crazy, laugh, eat, be silly, catch up with friends. As long as you are being responsible, especially with the whole drinking and driving, there is nothing wrong with happy hour in the middle of a crazy work week.  Take that break.  These are great ways of letting the stress out, venting to friends and just loosening up.   Have you ever gotten an invitation out, you said yes and then you started regretting it because you felt tired and didn’t feel like getting dressed?  Then, you feel bad because you said you would go or because they are already downstairs picking you up, so you get up and you go.  From nights like these sometimes come the best moments in your life.  You recharged some energy and end up being glad that you went out.  Appreciate the little things and moments in life.

STAY HEALTHY
Yep, it’s not all fun and games!  In my experience, my mood swings become pretty apparent when I have not done any type of exercise or if I have indulged in too many slices of pizza.  Once you stop your exercise routine for a while, it can become hard to start again but once you do, your energy level and mood take a hike all the way to the I Feel Really Good mountain top rock.   Combine it with some healthy intake and you are good to go!

LOVE, GIVE, SMILE
Being able to love the people around you is definitely a way to make the world and your own world a little better.  Stay away from Ignorance as it is the main cause for Judgment and Prejudice, two of the uggliest things anyone can carry inside.  Don’t judge the person that is next to you wearing those dirty, stinky clothes.  You don’t know if he/she lost her house and this is pretty much part of what was left.  Change your negative attitudes towards people, traffic, little situations you encounter on a daily basis.  There is always someone out there that has something worse going on in their lives, much worse than being stuck behind a slow driver, a red light or a boring meeting.  If you are able to spend $10.00 on a glass of wine at the bar, don’t hesitate when the opportunity comes for you to donate to a local charity or to a friend in need.  By becoming more positive as to how you react to certain situations that can affect someone else or yourself, you are already making this world a better place.

BALANCE

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As a Libra woman that I am, balance is a key ingredient in my life.  At times it can get hard to get to it but we should make an effort to make it happen.  An unbalanced life could lead to sickness, too much stress, broken relationships with people that we love, among other situations.  When you become a workaholic and forget about family, friends and your own interests, life can become pretty dull and hectic.  I am a lucky girl when I get to say that I have an amazing family that has always been there for me.  You can be replaced in the position you are the minute you walk away from a job, but you will never be able to be replaced in your family and friend’s life.  Spend time with your spouse, kids, grandkids, siblings, parents, grandparents, friends.  There is no greater love in life than the one you receive from your family,  as well as your chosen family:  your friends.
Nobody should tell you what makes you happy.  This is something that only you know.  These are my thoughts on the subject and I hope that you can take something from these lines, written from the bottom of my heart.
I will end this with one of my favorites … “DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!”

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You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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