My Rebirth

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Me with an NG tube inserted, wearing my fabulous rainbow belt and petting the therapy dog.

For the past year or so I have taken my healing to be my top priority; physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. You name it, I’ve done it; psychotherapy, acupuncture, magnetic therapy, family constellation, non-force chiropractor, energy healing, foot detox, neurosoma therapy and the list goes on. See I have lived most of my life in pain, physical, emotional, and spiritual, which explains a strong connection to Frida Kahlo’s art and words. Lets back track a little – now this is definitely not a sob story but this information is required in order to understand the full scope.

In 2002 I was 16 years old and a Junior in high school, and I was in a very scary car accident. I suffered a traumatic brain injury leaving me hospitalized for a month. I was in a coma for a week and then placed under a medically induced coma to avoid my swollen brain from touching the inside of my skull. Waking up to family and friends talking to me and not being able to respond was not easy and difficult to understand what was going on. I remember I would see my friends and hear them tell me about their day but not being able to respond. I felt like I was dreaming the whole time. This was such a weird dream, I thought. I remember I was able to ask my mom what happened and why I was in a hospital room. In tears my mother explained to me what happened, that is when my life went from 16 year junior in high school rehabilitating in the hospital. I literally had to relearn everything, swallowing, walking, kicking, eating, my laugh was even foreign. I remember being in physical therapy standing inside of a clock and asked to keep my left foot in the center while I had to place my right foot on different numbers. My coordination was a mess and lets not talk about my balance. I had to wear a rainbow gait belt in case I lost my equilibrium. It was all so dream like and unreal. I had 4 different therapies (speech, occupational, physical, and recreational therapy) and I knew that at the end of the week they all got together to discuss my progress; so I did my best to impress them. The strange thing was that I never cried about what happened to me. I felt I needed to be the strong one, since I put my family through so much pain, I did not want to see them hurt because of me anymore. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I made it my goal to get out of the hospital as soon as possible so I could return to my “normal” life, or so I thought. Funny thing was that from that point on my life had changed and would never be the same again. I did what I set out to do and managed to get discharged from the hospital exactly a month after the car accident. I turned 17 years old ten days after my discharge and I began my “normal life” again. It was far from normal, I started wishing I had nurses monitoring me soon after I found out I was taking anti-seizure medication, I wanted night lights, where were all the beeping machines? This was the most sensitive and delicate time of my life and I had no idea what was going on and how meaningful this time was. I thought everything would go back to “normal” and I would just go back to what I left behind but I soon found out that nothing was ever going to be the same.

My perspective was the biggest change and slowly but surly noticed my friends dwindle away. I became hard, straightforward, bitchy if you will but it was what I learned after such a hard transition. Those weren’t the only changes I had to deal with. I realized noise was a big problem. Too much noise overwhelmed me and over stimulated me. My family was told that I had to continue with speech therapy and see a psychiatrist so we followed through with the doctors request and trusted that he gave us all the necessary measures needed for treatment. Forgetting about the trauma that my body underwent during the accident we carried out the doctors orders. Years later, to my early 20’s I start noticing how I could not get accustomed to my bed. Every morning I would wake up complaining with a sore body, feeling all of the dips and slopes in the mattress. Not being able to turn my head rapidly because I experienced sharp pains, not being able to raise my arms all the way, my back and shoulders in constant pain, hip and groin problems, my elbows would hurt if they were rested on a table for too long and the worst one was my scalp, suddenly it felt tender to the touch. As if my hair was in a tight ponytail for a year and nothing not even my pillow would be comfortable. I remember my mother always telling me that it was all in my head and that I was just being picky about my mattress but I always knew deep down inside it was because how the car accident left me. Not only was I feeling pain in my body but I was emotionally unavailable for anybody and anything. I could not cry or feel sorry for any reason. I thought that was normal. I remember when my first anxiety attack happened, I was 23 years old and I didn’t know what hit me. I began therapy at my college and that was when I learned I had never processed and healed from the accident. I learned to shut off my emotions at such a young age, which was my way of protecting myself, a defense mechanism. I was only with my therapist for 3 months until I graduated and had to find someone else. While I was trying to heal my emotional self I was still in need of a physical release. Spiritually I was lost and searching for solace. I was reaching but not reaching enough. I was young and thought it would eventually disappear and I would just be “fixed”.

Now I’m 32 years old and I can finally feel my road to recovery is so close. I am excited and really proud of how far I’ve come. I have taken the last year to really focus on myself and heal for myself. I was always looking outside of me for answers and for others to magically heal me but learned that no one can heal me unless I am willing, ready and able to do the work. I am the only one who can do that. Happiness. love, and confidence starts from within, none are found externally. I continue on this path and trust that I will get there and if I don’t I will know I did all I could to.

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Do your body good

It’s been almost a year now since I transitioned my eye make up to vegan/cruelty free products. I realized that if I’m going to be careful with my diet I should also be careful with what I put on my face. So I purchased a water-proof “Natural eye pencil” in Jet by Pacifica Beauty and I love it. Not only is it free of the gunk you don’t want on your face but it is very easy to wash off. Usually I have to wash my face 2-3 times just to get my eye liner and mascara off but definitely not with this awesome liner. I also purchased a mascara by Gabriel Cosmetics in Jet Black. This cosmetic line is also vegan! No harsh chemicals, no animal products, and super easy to wash off. This mascara is great because it lengthens your lashes and reduces breakage. These lines are both found at Whole Foods and Sprouts and anywhere they sell health conscious food. Let me know what you think I will never go back to mainstream brands!!

Turmeric toothpaste

I know it looks pretty gross but this paste is miraculous. Now I wish I would’ve taken a before and after picture of myself but unfortunately I didn’t. Either way there, are so many ways to enhance a picture you can’t really rely on them anymore. Therefore you will just have to take my word for it and give it a try. I have yellow teeth, I didn’t brush well and on top of that I was given coffee at 5 years old. I know, blame it on my South American roots. Along with all that I had braces which didn’t help. In high school my favorite drinks were Peach Iced Tea and Pepsi to top it all off. In college I used white strips to reverse the effects of my poor drinking habits and in return I was left with the most sensitive teeth on the planet. It was torturous to eat really anything that was either cold or hot. So I stopped using those and felt stuck, I didn’t know what direction to go in my quest to white teeth. I found this natural remedy and decided to give it a try and holy turmeric does it work. Not only does it help whiten your teeth but because of the coconut oil you put in it, it makes your teeth feel squeaky clean afterwords. Ok enough of my ranting here are the ingredients:

-2 parts Turmeric 1 part Baking Soda 1 part Coconut Oil

Things to consider:

*Turmeric stains so be prepared to have a yellow/orange toothbrush

*Make sure you brush in your PJs so you don’t get any on your clothes

*Only brush with this magical toothpaste once a day

*Remember that the paste will melt as you brush since coconut oil hardens if the temp is too low

*Rinse your mouth well after use and make sure you clean the corners of your mouth as the turmeric likes to get in cracks =)

*Coconut oil is great for teeth since it fights cavity causing bacteria

*This paste is better than what you find in stores since it is all natural & there is no fluoride

Beat Non Stop

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It was the time the day slowly turned into evening and the purple wisteria got ready to turn in for the night, the grand Moorish fortress of Alhambra basked in the last of the sun’s light. My than husband and I walked down the hill finishing our visit to a magical place when the sound of the guitar pierced the warm flower filled air. As if under a spell, I turned and walked toward the sound. Sitting on an ancient stone, a longhaired man held a guitar close to his chest, moving his fingers with the speed of light creating a sound that was out of this world. He was surrounded by gypsies that began to sing and dance as he finished his solo. I was mesmerized by the sound, feeling of wholeness that I had never felt in my 20 years of existence. My feet were moving to the vibrations of the sound and at that moment I knew that the beat that was so powerful was the beat of life itself connecting everything in the universe.

Music became my inspiration, and many years later with the help of many creative souls, I was blessed to open a place dedicated to it. Beat Non Stop, as it was called, located on Melrose Ave. in the heart of Hollywood. Beat Non Stop established in 1992 became a candy store for DJs and clubbers from around the globe. It was a hub where new tracks found their homes in DJ crates and where magical musical vortexes were created.

Mear and his graffiti crew created a fantastical world full of futuristic landscapes from other realms. LA’s best underground DJs came together to fill the record bins with vinyl from known and unknown artists and places. If I was to put together a list of names of all that became the family of artists, customers, record producers, clothing companies, writers, people that shared good and bad times with me, the list would be so long I would have to buy more memory in my laptop. I thank them for teaching me the power of music. The way it can heal and uplift at the most difficult times. The way it can bestow wisdom on you while you are dancing, and the way you can become enlightened when connecting to the sound. For all the amazing experiences I had and continue having I thank my Beat Non Stop family for being the light on my adventure I call life.

XOXOXO NINA

Nina now sells designer vintage garments on Ebay and has a wonderful blog called unicorns and jam  I was lucky enough to receive her story before she posts this to her own blog. Thank you Nina.

 

Yoni Power, Contracts & Bodysuits

Recapping on the month of March prompts feelings of divinity, worth and confidence, we’re closing on Women’s History Month. I am excited to see the power of proclamation that women have taken across the world. Not only are we standing up for ourselves and each other; and even though we have so much more to go, it is something else to see stronger and louder acknowledgments from the opposite sex.

In my personal venture I started off in the clothing industry, I had to quickly learn the ins and outs of clothing production and even then only learned a fourth of the whole process. I began working with a fabric shop owner who would go on and produce my first pattern and sample for a simple bodysuit within a 2 week period, or so I thought. I went into this “business deal” very trusting and naive. Never thinking to include a contract and have clear expectations of what needed to be done. In the end I did not receive the proper attention that was required as a new client/customer. I soon realized that because I was a small order and a new “brand” to this shop owner, I was placed at the bottom of the totem pole. Not only was I given poor services but when inquiring about when my order would be finished, the shop owner was very condescending, rude, and unprofessional to me. He got hostile with me over the phone and let me know that he does not work under pressure. Those were his exact words, interesting because the clothing industry is all about deadlines. Mind you, the man had already known that I was a rookie in the industry, which does not explain tone he took with me. Aside from that he had me pay upfront for the order, which is something I learned is a big red flag. As you can already see, since the man got his money, he was able to have me wait a whole month, yes a whole month until I received my pattern and sample. Now if I would have been a male in the industry the conversation would have been a lot different, the tone would have been lighter and smooth as opposed to talking down to me. Just knowing that I had to communicate with him made me anxious, I knew I had to walk on egg shells and speak to him in a different manner because this man had a short temper and everything I said seemed to rub him the wrong way. He told me that I was just like all the other designers he had dealt with, which only shows his unprofessionalism. I was far from what he was stereotyping me as since I was just asking on the status of what I had paid full price for. This guy was clearly a jerk, had I been more attentive at picking up on the red flags from the beginning I would not have been in that situation, waiting on my services that I had paid for. When I met the man I ignored his initial condescending remarks, I quickly learned that even if you need someone else’s services, your respect comes first, always. It sets the tone for the business relationship. Just because you are new to something it does not mean it is ok for someone with experience to belittle you. Since the details were not discussed I soon found out all the extra costs he was throwing in, like only having one fitting minimum to perfect the sample anything after that would be an alteration cost, paying for the thread used on my garment, buying more fabric that was never used, and setting a due date. Due to these unforeseen circumstances I no longer wanted to be invovled in this deal so I just accepted what was given to me. I received a horrendous final sample that I am not satisfied with but because there was no contract I decided to close the deal.  I urge you if you are going into something you know little about but don’t want to continue looking for someone else, please WAIT, don’t just go with someone you’re not comfortable with. Make sure you are being heard and most importantly respected. And lastly please make a contract with everyone you are doing business with, even if you feel like you trust the person, at the end of the day its business and unfortunately you can’t trust anybody. Contracts maximize success rates and keep expectations clear and concise. I hope this helps and please if you are in the L.A area and are looking for a production house contact me so I can steer you clear from the fabric store. xoxo

Dairy Free Gluten Free Breakfast, No Problem.

To all those foodies who love their breakfast but are also looking for a light and healthy morning meal that is filling and nutritious. You have come to the right place. One of my favorite toppings has been, flax seeds. I like to add them to all my breakfast dishes, whether its adding them in my cereal, sprinkling them on my scrambled eggs, or even on my toast. For one, they are high in fiber, which helps you go to the bathroom regularly, two, contains omega 3s, AKA essential fatty acids that are good for our hearts, and three, contains estrogen and antioxidant qualities (lignans). What more can you ask for? One of my go to breakfast dishes is using Ezekiel’s Cinnamon Raison gluten free bread. I toast it, spread ghee on this bad boy, add organic almond butter, sprinkle flax seeds and drizzle honey to set the seeds. OMG how yummy. Recently I came up with a savory edition to this. Again I toasted the bread, spread ghee, added flax, then grabbed an avocado and used half to spread over, then finished it with salt and pepper. Mmmm. Oh and don’t let me forget how important and beneficial ghee is. Ghee has a high smoke point which means you can cook using high temperatures and it won’t break down into free radicals. Ghee does not need to be refrigerated because it does not spoil easily. Ghee is dairy and casein free, it is made from butter but the impurities and milk solids are removed. Ghee is rich in vitamin A and E. It is antiviral and has antioxidant properties. New studies have found that Ghee also helps with our negative emotions and moods that are stored as fat. Ghee works by extracting those toxins and replacing them with its own good fats. IMG_6070I can go on but really Ghee is amazing it also has similar properties to coconut oil.

Flirty 30 trip

I went to Cancun, Mexico for my 30th birthday with a friend late last month and had a blast. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the amazing things I came across. It was rich in Mayan culture, bright colors, and beautiful sites to see. We stayed at the Grand Oasis Resort. We traveled to the state of Yacatan to visit the famous Chichen Itza Mayan pyramid along with the Cenote Ikil. Our tour guides were so warm and welcoming they definitely made the trip there that much more exhilarating. Our second adventure was taken on an excursion. We went on a catamaran that took us snorkeling to the underground museum, which was such an awesome sight. Then the boat took us to Isla Mujeres where we docked and then had dinner at another beach resort. We even got to experience the night life while there too. We danced the night away at the Congo bar. The trip was short and sweet but well worth it and I’ll definitely have to return to visit more beautiful places.

 

Cenote Ikkil

  

Chichen Itza

      

Carved heads

  

The top of the Mayan ball court

           

Congo Bar

  

Catamaran fun

  

Isla Mujeres