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Cannes Film Festival 2014

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL for http://www.clubfashionista.com

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One of my dreams as an actress is to be able to show one of my movies at the Cannes Film Festival in France. This event, which first took place in September 20 of 1946, is considered to be one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. It has launched the careers of directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh. Attended by many movie stars, this festival is a popular venue for film producers to launch their new films and attempt to sell their works to the distributors who come from all over the globe. The exposure you get is a dream for anyone in the film industry, especially the newcomers. Unlike the Oscars, ANYONE can submit a film, which is then reviewed by international film representatives.

What makes this festival so important in the business of the cinema is how it combines art, stardom and finance. The stars walking the red carpet, the multi-million dollar deals which are signed there every year attracts over 27,000 film industry representatives and countless tourists. While thousands of films are submitted to the Cannes Film Festival every year, only about 50 feature films and 30 short films are included in the Official Selection, which is the main body of work that is the center of the festival.

Some of my favorite moments on and outside of the red carpet:Image

(Although she didn’t have a film at the festival in 1953, French actress Brigitte Bardot hogged the headlines thanks to an extremely brief bikini. “She invented a new image of the French starlet: anti-snobbish, non-intimidating,” says Columbia film professor Edward Baron Turk.  The shots also made the new-fangled bikini a huge hit in the fashion world. She’s now a virtual recluse having retired from this industry industry in 1973, but she insists that the paparazzi who ensured she was in every newspaper in the world, chose her “at random, for want of anyone better.”)

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(Pop star Madonna displays the outfit, designed by French Jean-Paul Gaultier, she is wearing under an ample coat as she leaves the Cannes Festival Palace after the screening of her movie ‘in Bed with Madonna’, on May 13, 1991).

 

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(Sophia Loren, Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, 1962 © AFP)

 

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival, which celebrates its 67th edition will be held from May 14-25. Already controversial film “Grace of Monaco” (starring Nicole Kidman portraying icon Grace Kelly) kicks off the festival on Wednesday. Among the other films that will be presented at this year’s film marketplace are: “Bird People”, “The Captive”, “Clouds of Cils Maria”, “Foxcatcher”, “The Homesman”, “Jauja”, “Lost Rivers”, “Maps to the Stars”, “The Search”, “Two Days, One Night”, and “The Rover”. Expect to see stars such as Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchet, Ryan Reynolds, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, and of course, Nicole Kidman.

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To stay up to date as to the red carpet, film premiers and special events at this annual event you can visit the offical page at http://www.festival-cannes.com/en.html

Follow me now on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz @darlenevaz

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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 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.

The presence of Angels

The word “Angels” is often associated with guards, protectors, guides and messengers of God. Many people believe in their existence, many people don’t. Let me tell you how my belief and gratitude towards them began and what has kept it alive.

I was about four years old when my first encounter occurred. It was a beautiful day in my hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico. My dad and I had a beach day out. It was just the two of us plus some acquaintances from his job that happened to be at the same place. First, let me explain to you about the beach we went to on this particular day. It is located in Condado, East of the Historic Old San Juan. This morning my dad took me to the beach right behind La Concha Hotel, one of the many hotels that decorate this beautiful area of San Juan. As time has passed, more and more swimmers, both local and tourists, know that when you decide to go swimming in the ocean at this particular area, there has to be an extreme awareness and respect of the waters. Although beautiful, it is filled with rocks, aggressive waves and strong rip currents. It is a combination of these three what taught my dad about the dangers of this particular beach which  almost took our lives away.

My dad had me in his arms and we were enjoying the moment. Warm waters, waves, happy times between a father and his little girl.  Suddenly, he realized that he was slowly losing control and that the shore was becoming smaller and smaller to his eyes.  The waves were pulling us farther away by the second, passing the rocks, which were considered the safe zones. One thing is to lose control while you are on your own. You find a way, you try to call for help, you improvise. Unfortunately, even on their own, many people have not survived these waters. So add a small child to this troubling moment. My dad was carrying me in his arms and trying to fight for both of our lives. As he explains it to me the multiple times that I have inquired about what happened on that day, he could not be more certain about what happened next.

I am not a parent but I have four nieces and three nephews that I love with all my heart. I would do anything for them and in any given circumstance I will save their lives before mine. My father was about to do just that. He did not believe he was going to make it out of these waters so he did what he thought would save my life. He threw me up in the air towards the shore. You would think that a four year old would not be able to swim or survive those waves.  There are so many possibilities and different situations that could have happened, but my father believed that there was a chance I would be able to touch ground and walk away from the water to the safe sands. Then something happened that gave my dad confirmation that I was going to be fine. He saw a man with black shorts walking towards me and taking me by my hand all the way to shore.

Seeing how I was saved gave my dad motivation to save his own life and that he did. He took every opportunity he had to ‘body surf’ his way away from trouble. Taking one wave at a time he managed to go all the way to shore. Once he saw me happily playing with the sand by the water he went to his acquaintances that were standing around and told them what happened. They were not even aware that we had been in trouble. He then proceeded to find the man that had helped me for those well deserved two words: Thank You. But the man he had seen was no longer in the area. He asked his co-workers if they had seen the man that brought me to shore but they had absolutely no idea who dad was talking about. They only saw me walking out from the water to the sand. There was no man around. I truly believe that the man my dad had seen was an angel, one of God’s messengers sent out to help us. And it was him who took me by my hand and led me to safety, giving my dad the chance to save his own life without a toddler in his arms. And this is how an angel saved our lives.

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Angels come into our lives to comfort us, give us courage and fill us with hope. They appear in crucial moments and through a stranger or  a loved one. This second story is about that loved one that came to protect me.

About six months after my grandfather passed away I went into surgery. At five years of age I was diagnosed with a tumor in my left ovary. The first years of life of a child are so important. Even though I was very young when ‘Abuelo (Grandpa) Boabdil’ passed, I have memories of him. I remember all the affection that he would always give me and how he always found a way to show me I was protected and loved. Missing him was a daily thing for me for the rest of my life.

(Abuelo Boabdil)

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As my dad and mom sat in the waiting area of the Hospital del Maestro in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, I was having that left ovary removed. Imagine how nervous they were to have their little girl going through all the pain I went through prior to the surgery and now being in an operating table. All of a sudden my dad felt my Grandpa Boabdil (dad’s father) speak to him. Let me remind you that he had lost the battle to cancer just 6 months earlier. My dad looked at mom and told her, “Darlene is okay. Everything is okay”. My mom didn’t know how he would know being that they had been sitting there together all along. My dad then said, “Dad just told me she came out from surgery and that she is okay”. If my mom was surprised by this, imagine her surprise once I woke up in the recovery room and told her, “Mom, I saw grandpa. He was there with me during the surgery. He was wearing the same thing he had on at his funeral. He had that dark suit and his glasses. But this time he was also wearing wings and floating in the air”. Later on I drew a picture of my grandpa watching over me through a window that was right in front of me during surgery. Suit, glasses and wings.  I still have that drawing. Knowing that I have him to protect me, along with my other loved ones who have passed is so comforting to me.

(At the hospital)

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(With my dad the day I went back home after surgery)

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Oftentimes I am reminded of the existence of angels, either through personal experiences or through stories I hear from other people. So many different scenarios. People that are going through financial difficulties and suddenly receive money from a friend that know what they are going through. That moment when you have no food on the table and a knock on the door brings you some bread and butter because at the supermarket they had a 2 x 1. Little things like these show how there is never a moment when God does not have our back and he sends assistance through his angels, which come in so many shapes, colors, forms.

I believe that we can all serve as angels for someone who is in need. We have the power to be messengers of God. It is a matter of doing good, with no judgment or expectations. You never know how one little act can make someone’s day, week, month, life. And it is one of those stories that I want to share with you in a post which I will be dedicating to my friend Erick Cedeno. He has an inspiring story to tell about a goal, a journey, an important part of history, barriers encountered, motivation in the making and angels who protected his way.

Thank you for reading my post. It is very significant for me and I wanted to share it with you.

God Bless,

Darlene

© 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.

Darlene Vazquetelles

Darlene Vazquetelles website

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