everyone is a critic

September 15, 2014

We all produce things. For all my fellow artists, when it comes to our work, we can be a little sensitive about it, and I would say especially writers because some inspiration of our work comes from personal and real-life events. 

In a recent interview, I was asked, “How do you deal with constructive criticism from your colleagues?” I am sure you have encountered that question yourself when you’re going into an interview. I really think they ask this question to see your reaction.

Based upon my experience, from working in the fashion field to branding myself as a writer, I have to admit, it bruised my self-esteem when I first heard that my piece was not strong enough to engage an audience.

I pitched a story to a large digital outlet, that had a similar audience as Elite Daily, but more for a women demographic, and when she gave me her feedback, it stung. But she was being honest, and I don’t blame her.


Instead of the whole boo-hoo-why-me-solo-pity-party, I know what I have to do. Improve, obviously, if I want to continue to pursue the editorial industry, but also be meticulous about my craft. Continue to grow in all spectrums when it comes to writing.

Now, you may get the perception that I am being hard on myself, and not that is the case. I am just being real here. The purpose of the entry is to admit when you have made a mistake, or acknowledge your weaknesses. I have no problem taking ownership of my mistakes and identifying flaws (if any), to be better. The people who are making critiques are simply trying to help you strengthen your skills, essentially for your benefit.

From what I learned from organizing events and working with different businesses, you must learn to separate personal and business matters. When a constructive criticism is given – just take it. Learn from it. Don’t take it personal, and I know people find that difficult to digest.

In a sense, when criticisms are more on the heavier scale, like for a major project or event, to me that translates as rejection or failure. I don’t know about you, but I am still learning how to cope with rejection. Whether it be from dating or to not getting a job offer. It is all about toughening up, growing extra layer(s) of skin, and moving forward. 

It’s funny how this entire adventure will speak volumes about personal development as well as making my career footprints. Only time and hard work will tell.

To be frank, I am getting better at building the whole thick-skin part – sort of, at least when it comes to job rejections and honest feedback of my work. It sucks to hear, but it only motivates me to work relentlessly. 

Happy Monday, family & friends! I hope you are kicking off your week just right (:

*artwork by S.


September 12, 2014

I was never great at keeping up with my daily outfits or style posts. I give credit to those social media influencers, who are consistent in posting their outfits. One: It’s too much effort. Two: well, it’s just too much effort for me.

I’m a simple and lazy fashionista – if there is such thing. (I’ll share you my basic make-up routine later on to prove that I’m borderline low-maintenance/lazy).

Anyway, I mentioned in my last culture shock post that I want to re-introduce Style back onto my platform. Why not start with my daily essentials? Although it’s not much of a style post, but gives you an insight what I carry everyday when I am on-the-go. This is just the bare minimum by the way – it’s not including my water bottle, current reading material or my laptop.


What’s in my tote?

Tote: Zara, similar here; Wallet: Michael Kors, similar here; Sunglasses: Ray Bans Aviator, similar here; Portable charger; Moisturizer: Nivea; Lip products: NYX Matte Lipstick, MAC’s Chili and Lip Liner; Protein Bar: Clif’s Mojo; Mints: Altoids; Hand Sanitizer (MUST): Purell travel size; Journal & Pen, similar here.

I realize that I always carry more than one lip product, and it’s only because I forget to empty my bag, but when there is a last-minute outing, I can throw on color and jet! Easy, breezy!

That’s it – short & sweet for you all on this lovely Friday morning. Have a great weekend family & friends (:


What do you carry in your bag? 

Oh, and if you’re bored, here are some articles for some enlightenment: articles posted on HuffPost Women about the Evolution of Cat Calls and one for laughs, an ad to finding a Fall Boyfriend.

cliche, cliche?

September 10, 2014

My darling, you are allowed to fail without being a failure. You are allowed to make mistakes without becoming one. More opportunities will present themselves, you will find hope again.


We, as in you and I, tend to cling onto quotes and phrases that are relevant to the current moment in our lives. The quote above actually came out of a question from the “Ask Me” section through Tumblr. I did not notice that until I linked the quote’s origin and read the excerpt myself. Beautiful response in my opinion

A reminder to you and I that there is a silver lining or – to be trite, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Just a disclaimer, I am not sad or losing hope. Simply in an inspired and hopeful mood this early afternoon.

Happy Hump Day Friends & family!

backstage during nyfw

September 8, 2014

Goal: work at least one Fashion Week – consider that checked off my list. While this past week has been a whirlwind, from balancing between two gigs, getting home at late hours and my everyday duties such as writing, I somewhat survived.

Wanted to share some photos with you all – unfortunately the quality of the photos were taken on my iPhone – I had to be professional so no fangirling allowed, even if it was Uzo Aduba.


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Carmen Electra looked so flawless, and never realized how defined her features were! Uzo Aduba is such a sweet gal by the way. So many people walked up to her backstage asking for selfie photos and she didn’t decline any photos, and not to mention, Vivienne Tam’s dress look so good on her.

I’ll save the whole what I learned from Fashion Week for future interviews and on LinkedIn.

I have another event to attend tonight, but I am still recovering from the past week and slowly recharging for this week that I may just cancel my attendance. The weather today is kind of cloudy and rain will be coming in soon, so it causes me to be lazier. Blah.

Once again, thank you all for your continuous support, encouragement, and joining me on this journey as I establish myself!

Have a great Monday (:

a hell of a ride

September 4, 2014

Sometimes, I really need to sit back and embrace what is all happening to me, which is at a rapid rate.

You know when you imagine something or someone you desired for so long, and when it happens you’re in disbelief, an awe that you’ve gotten what you’ve always wanted? Sometimes, it’s not always in the shape or form you’ve always wanted, but something close or even better…

Don’t know if any of you have ever felt that way before, but this whole experience is pretty much like that. I live my life day-to-day and still in shock that I am chasing trains, waving down cabs, dining on 2nd Ave or running around Central Park. My life feels like a movie I’ve seen before…

That’s the crazy part.

I’m so grateful to be given this opportunity to assist a luxurious designer for Fashion Week. While I walked through the Lincoln Center yesterday, I couldn’t believe it. This is what I’ve seen and read about in the media, and here I am, given the chance to work behind stage.

fa I told myself that I have to at least work one New York Fashion Week (you can read that blurb here) and my life would be fulfilled in some way. It’s happening, friends and family.

I shall celebrate this small success because who knows what can happen after adding this under my resume, but I am willing to find out.

The day I get invited to a show, I will be squealing like a little girl. Oh wait – I do that enough already about Harry Potter and Ice Cream!

Have a wonderful Thursday friends & family and thank you all for those who congratulated. The support system I have is so freaking amazing. You guys are the best cheerleaders, ever! But I will say, hold off the congratulations until I announce the day when I become an Editor for a respectable and established publication.

Dare I say it? I just did, hahah!

With great love,

*illustration by S.

daily snippets: 02

September 2, 2014

The day-to-day sights of my life:

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I got an organic basil plant to grow in the loft. I been keeping up with watering it and making sure it gets sunlight, so I can pick the leaves when I cook. This is a symbolic plant by the way. Details later.

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Fitness has always been a part of my lifestyle, but now it is a little different. I been practicing more power yoga and running outdoors (when the weather doesn’t suck). Yoga is definitely challenging – and it’s not one of those calming classes. I’m talking about fast-paced-dripping-sweat kind of classes, so I am getting in a great workout. I also tried barre classes, which is a mixture of ballet, Pilates and yoga altogether. I would admit that my cardio has definitely improved – chasing those trains and climbing flight of stairs are really doing justice. Yesterday morning, I conquered 2 miles easily. To me, this is great news! So I won’t be huffing and puffing when I am running with Nike+ Running team.

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My favorite parts of the City are the building structures and the contrasts between them. Fire escapes and brick walls. It’s so eye-catching and I can’t help, but feel so giddy when I’m walking down streets and avenues.

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Shared this photo (above) on instagram. Remember how I mentioned free events? This was cool. My first outdoor movie in the City and got to share this experience with Jules. It was her first time seeing the film!

I welcomed in the new month great! The right intentions and that really makes a difference. Can you all believe it’s already September? Where is this year going? Seriously, freaks me out. My MetroCard expires next week, which means another renewal, but a reminder that I been here for another month. I’m so excited to see the season change in the next few weeks! Ah!

For all you party hardy folks, hope you’re waking up on this fine Tuesday well. Let’s get this week moving!

ta-ta for now! (:

see, feel & believe

August 31, 2014

Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin. – Robert Collier

I always tend to stay up the night before waking up early for obligations. Here I am, writing, thinking and over-analyzing with my twisted mind.

I came across this quote – thank you, Tumblr for always flooding my dashboard with such great inspiration – and I stopped scrolling, re-blogging and liking to really take in this quote by Collier. I sat back on my couch, and closed my eyes.

I envisioned my future self and where I want to be. Instead of Betty Suarez, it was me who was running around the streets of New York.

Is that cheesy? 

A quick write up – hoping to inspire those who may be hitting a block like myself. Keep going, keep believing. We mustn’t lose our hope and faith.

I bid you goodnight friends & family — I’ll share some photo snippets in the next post. Thanks for tuning in and showing the love (:


culture shock II

August 25, 2014

I have a lot to learn and to explore during my stay here. Learning to embrace the culture as I go.

If you missed part one of this post, click here. Other than that, let’s continue what else New York has to offer:

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I am typically not a lazy person, just sometimes. When it comes to laundry, you can either do it yourself, what normal people typically do. Or you have the option to do a drop-off service. What does that mean? They weigh how much pounds your bag is and you pay by the pound. Pick it up at end of day or at a convenient time for you all folded and ready. I know – how freaking cool! Beautifully folded into a compact load for you to haul it back home.

DSC00931Remember how I mentioned how dirty it is? Yeah, look. When garbage day rolls around, people just toss it to the sidewalk. Mind you, there are tons of foot traffic and we all have to surpass these nasty smells.


It’s so rare to find large headliners for FREE. I don’t recall going to many free things in Los Angeles, but here in New York, there are so many free amazing things for all sorts of crowds. A few weekends ago I went to a concert at Central Park for an R&B fest. Musiq Soulchild was the last performance, and opener was Jon B. And the crowd was such a great diversity!

photoDining alone is such a norm. To some, it may be lonely, but here it’s so normal just to go fine dining by yourself. I’ve seen it happen at work and when I go out with friends. I remember when I had lunch by myself at my favorite tea lounge in Fullerton, everyone looked at me as if I was a loser. When really I was just hungry and no one was available to hang out. People do a lot of things here alone: Going to the movies, exploring the City by themselves – it’s not taboo. Reminds me of going to a show by myself a few months back. So thank you, New York for being shameless with that.

loft_kitchenThere is no such thing as having pantry in your kitchen, or having a storage space for that matter. They say New York living conditions are not spacious. Learning to live a minimal lifestyle is definitely a challenge. And I thought I had that type of lifestyle in California, guess not.

justin_fashionFashion Culture is a subject of it’s own – and I will expand on that soon. I’ve been brainstorming a few ideas for the Style Section on my blog, and probably add some beauty things, too. Slowly welcoming it back.

& here are some other things:

If you are a girl, a lady, just being a female in general, you will be getting catcalled. You do not understand how annoying this is. I can be in jogger shorts and sweaty, and hear, “Aye, mama!” Reminds me of this Buzzfeed video or this HuffPost Women article. Most of the time I am irked when I hear stupid catcalls and how persistent they are. Other times, I give them a nice middle-finger.

Did I mention majority of folks J-walk? All the time. No one abides the traffic laws here, and it’s kind of amazing. Dangerous, too. I almost got ran over when I was crossing a street somewhere in the West Village. I don’t have the patience to wait for the walking-man sign to blink. That is how you also know if someone is a local or a tourist, too. See if they wait or just keep walking when no cars are around.

I consider myself an in-betweener where partially I’m a tourist and a local. Butterflies and smiles when I see something new and evening twinkling lights. When I get home, through my kitchen window, I can see the top of the Empire State Building, and I get the same feeling every single time. Still in disbelief that I am here and very much in love with the City.

Hope you guys enjoyed the photos and the short captions that followed. I promised to share photos and viola! Shared plenty of links if you read closely. Hope you guys are starting your Monday on a great note and prepping for the week. Thanks for tuning in family and friends!



listening to my gut

August 22, 2014

This recently happened, by ‘recent’ I mean in the last twenty-four hours. But first, quick backstory. One the main reasons why I moved out here earlier than my intended date was because I was promised brand meetings and the opportunity to network amongst other staff writers. A stipend pay after three months – well, it was rolling into five months and I haven’t received any meeting invites or any pay whatsoever. Hrm. 

I was always skeptical about the role upon the offer. My gut was hinting at a few things earlier on, but I wanted to take a risk and dive into it.

Earlier on this week while I was so excited to craft a new fashionable post, as I submit for review, another post appeared – published, on the same topic. Not that I did not conduct my research, but the Editor stole my pitch, when I pitched the idea two weeks prior.

There, my first career-backstab, by my own Editor. You can imagine my disappointment.

After evaluating my objectives, worth and aftermath of this week’s article incident, I decided to send an email saying, “I no longer wish to write for your publication. Thank you for challenging me creatively and critically. Best Regards.”

I sincerely meant every word. A part of me felt that I surrendered, but another part of me felt that I needed to move on since this opportunity no longer benefited me. 

As selfish as it sounds, it’s the truth. They were all empty promises. Lessons that I was re-taught in this short-lived opportunity venture:

  1. Listen to your gut, always.
  2. Everyone is watching out for themselves.
  3. Don’t waste time on someone or something that doesn’t better/benefit you.

A quick write up for y’all this Friday morning! Hope you guys have a great weekend. I know everyone enjoys pictures, so I promise the next post will be something more exciting and less ‘career-oriented.’

Bye (:





ugly betty & i

August 20, 2014

Netflix is a blessing and a curse. Why do I say that? It allows you be anti-social and just binge on shows and snacks. And the only time you move is getting up to the pantry for more snacks. Tell me you haven’t done this.

Ugly Betty, stars America Ferrera as the Editor-in-Chief’s assistant with bushy brows and a big smile filled with braces. Anyway, I rather not go into full details of the show, but there was a particular scene that caught my attention that reveals a larger theme about myself and life.

Aside from the fact that Betty also wants to be a writer and to be published- story of my life, she also feels out of place in the industry she works in: fashion. The way she dresses, her short and full figure, her untamed hair and all these “flaws” that revolve around her physical image, which has nothing to do with her ability to perform her skills. She is constantly teased for her image and how awkward she can be at times.

ugly_bettyillustrationThere is always that sense of unwelcomeness and insecurity when working in certain industries. Fashion is a big one, based on personal experience. Remember how I mentioned how I was flirting with the idea of not wanting to continue to working the fashion industry? If you missed that post, click here

Although we may embrace our differences, including our sense of style, a part of us want to feel welcomed as well. To have that safety net and comfort amongst a group of people.

Side-note: I told my roommates, that Betty Suarez is my is my Spirit Animal and you know what they said? “That is a very Californian thing to say.” Anyway – 

Why am I crafting this? In the pursuit of my career, I am also trying to find “where I fit in”, as well as in New York. Where I can be myself, open to compromise my voice, but still produce creative and profound work. 

Although I merely touched the surface in how I see myself in Betty, as I continue to finish up the series (I am on the very last episode just so you know), she and I are are genuinely on the same path.

She’s an inspiration of where I want to be. I know, I know, she’s a fictional character, but whatever. She’s kind of real – I am sure she depicts a real person in some shape or form. I strongly resonate with her character from not fitting in the industry to striving for success from a minority background. There are so many details I can describe, but that will do just do.

Starting to believe that any character associated with fashion publishing is living the life that I dream of – or the career I hope to obtain in the near future. Such as Jenna Rink from 13 Going on 30 and Andy Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada

Closing up this entry with one final thought: I do belong in the fashion industry. As much as I try to deny, flirt with the idea that I do not belong, or my continuous questions and rants. Ultimately, I do want to continue to work in fashion.

Well, there you have it.

Thank you all for joining me today for this post and my ongoing reflections about myself, career and New York adventures. Really means a lot to me!

But… have you ever questioned yourself if you want to be working in the field you’re working in now? I’m not the only one, right? Do share, I’d love to read about it (:

Oh, and Happy Hump Day family & friends!

*Artwork by S.