The Bronx Fashion Show, is more than JUST a Fashion Show – Flora Montes

 

Flora M

Flora Montes, President and Executive Director of Bronx Fashion Week

To some she is known as Fairy Godmother or the Puerto Rican Paula Deen; her name is Flora Montes. Yes, Flora like a flower in the Spanish language. Which is not by chance that her name is Flora, because she is a flower that blossomed in The Bronx and is planting seeds into The Bronx.

Flora has a big heart that drives her through everything that she commits herself to. Growing up in The Bronx, has taught Flora the importance of giving back. Although she moved out of The Bronx at the age of 24, her heart never left her home. With her experiences and creative ventures, Flora always found herself coming back to the boogie down Bronx, giving back to her home. Living in Connecticut, Flora took the last $20 that she had in her pocket and bought school supplies for kids in The Bronx, investing back into her community.

Bronx Fashion Show

This idea came to her while she was at a Latin Fashion Show. After experiencing a great show; Flora was amazed and she said to herself “We have to have this in The Bronx”. The next day, Flora began to work on bringing a fashion show to the Bronx. After what she had witnessed at the previous fashion show, she refused to put this dream to rest. Best believe, Flora worked until this fashion show came to life in The Bronx. This idea is now a reality that has been around in The Bronx for three years. I don’t know about you but as a Bronxite, this fills me up with joy.

Her authenticity and her love for her home (The Bronx) is what makes Flora a Bronx icon. Authenticity for many reasons, but one main reason is because she does serve back wholeheartedly as opposed for economic reasons.

Bronx Fashion Show 3Bronx Fashion Show 1 (2)Bronx Fashion Show 5

I had the pleasure to attend The Bronx fashion show this year back in August, that focused on a theme of “Back to school”. This event was hosted in Bay Plaza Mall, one of the biggest malls here in The Bronx. Before the show had begun, I was backstage speaking to models, designers, makeup artists,volunteers and interns who all shared the same feeling of a movement happening in The Bronx. Witnessing models, designers and sponsors piecing this event together, was a clear statement that The Bronx is in for a change! Bronx fashion show is setting a new standard to fashion shows throughout New York City, because they bring diversity in different areas as it is mentioned in New York Times article. As Flora says, “The Bronx Fashion Show is more than just a fashion show! It is more than just modeling, fabric or just a shirt”. In agreement with an article published by Bronx Times, Bronx Fashion show is about celebrating The Bronx and embracing beauty from the inside out.

Bronx Fashion Show 4Bronx Fashion Show 6

Flora Montes is a writer, poet, blogger, culinary chef, visionary and a full time Bronx advocate. Coming from a place where most people feel like you can’t make it far, Flora made it her job to give back so that she can help others chase their dreams. “Giving back equals healing” as Flora says. She did not allow herself to be a statistic in between the struggles that she had faced in her life, instead she flipped things over to cater to those in need.

Bronx Fashion Show 7

Get to know her story and her face because she has more to bring to The Bronx. “I am not building a company, I am building a legacy” and she is confident that “my grandchildren will look at this and be proud”. Such an amazing woman with a beautiful heart. Personally, I have never met anyone like Flora Montes. One thing that I learned from her as we chatted over Mexican food, is that it is not about the glamour but, yet about the story behind.

Want to follow up on The Bronx Fashion show’s latest updates? Great, you can do so by following their Instagram page and/or by visiting their website.

 

 

The Ugly Truth About Beauty Products

“Turns out, my Pantene contains a chemical linked to cancer and lots of products in my bathroom from sunscreen to lipstick and even baby shampoo; also linked to cancer or other problems such as learning disabilities, asthma and even male fertility (damaged sperm.” – The Story of Cosmetics (Short Youtube Video)

It is no secret that we do not know for sure what goes into our foods but how about our beauty products? Although there is a list of things unsaid, it is our job to be mindful and educated in these areas. Just because it taste good, does not necessarily mean that it is good for you to consume, right? Same goes for beauty products, just because it smells good or look pretty, this does not mean that it is safe for us to use.

”The average woman in the U.S uses about twelve personal care products daily. The average man uses about six. Each product containing a dozen or more chemicals.” – The Story of Cosmetics (Short Youtube Video)

If you look closely, you will learn that some of products contain deadly chemicals and some are not even approved by the FDA! Chemicals that are banned in many countries, are legal in America and freely swimming in our daily products. Anyone can understand that some ingredients used for our products are not safe for humans to consume but it is allowed on the market, for us to buy and consume!! (I don’t know about you but that is insane to even think about, please take a few minutes to let this information marinate)

The bottom line is; we all want to enjoy a fruitful life without devoting half our lives to the healthcare industry paying medical bills.

Using some graphics from Safe Cosmetics, here are some ingredients to look out for and why:

Parabens

Butylated Compounds

Ethanolamine Compounds

Now that you know about a few ingredients to look out for, pick a beauty product and search for these ingredients.

This is what I got rid of, after learning about the ugly ingredients:

beauty products

If you feel like you need help identifying the ingredients, you can use these websites/app that will tell you exactly what is in your product. My top favorite ones are Safe CosmeticsThink Dirty App and Good Guide.

Beautycon Festival NYC 2017

Beautycon Festival here in New York City was an adventure of its own. I learned about different beauty companies that I never knew of before. However, the highlight of the festival for me was Gabrielle Union! Shes more flawless in person!! Anyways, she shared some inspirational tips, talked about her book; “We’re going to need more wine” and her new hair product line; Flawless Hair.

People come to these types of festivals for different reasons. Since I am fairly new in the blogging community I wanted to meet bloggers like myself and learn about different beauty companies. Mission accomplished! Below you will find a list of freebies that I got!

Beautycon NYCBeautycon NYC 3

Beautycon NYC 4

Free Macaroons for everyone! They were so yummy

Beautycon NYC 5

Pretty and yummy

Beautycon NYC 6

Flower mascara tower

Beautycon NYC 1

Gabrielle Union

Beautycon NYC 7

Freebies

List of freebies:

  1. New Cantu Cleanse Root Rinse (Sample Packet)
  2. New Cantu Color Protecting Shampoo (Sample Packet)
  3. Soap & Glory; Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk (Sample Packet)
  4. Soap & Glory: Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumpling Lip Gloss; Colors Spun Sugar, Plumsup &Nudestar (Sample Size)
  5. Colorpop Lippie Stix; Color Dusty Pink (Full Size)
  6. Milk Makeup Lip Color; Color Blue (Full Size)
  7. New L’oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise (Full Size)

Thank you for stopping by!

May Highlights

Hey you guys! May was such a busy month! What were some of your highlights from May? (Comment and share below)

Looking back, May was so much fun for me and here’s why:

  • Fitness goal accomplished

As a follow up to my April goal, this month I mastered my goal of running for a minimum of at least twenty minutes, three days a week. Yippie!! I have dropped five pounds just by running a few times a week. My favorite part of this small workout, is that its just twenty minutes and its completely free! On top of that, you feel so much better and stronger after every single run.

  • Read 4 great books

This month I read four amazing books. One book for self development, another book for inspiration and two fun non fiction books! I loved each one, but if I had to choose which one I enjoyed the most it’ll be “The Happiness Project”. This book can be a hit or miss, depending on the reader. However, reading this book has taught me so much about myself and my future goals. Nonetheless, all books are amazing in their own ways.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Thicker than water by Takerra Allen

Still Thicker Than Water by Takerra Allen

A cup of comfort for inspiration by Colleen Sell

  • Tried four new yummy recipes!

I’m not too sure about ya’ll but I love good food. Before I enjoyed the idea of paying for a home cooked meal until I took a cooking class in Italy and realized that I can make anything that I want to in my own kitchen! I also love food network and recipe books. By keeping a list of recipes that I want to try, here’s what I scratched off for this month.

Alfredo Sauce

Jamaican yellow cornmeal porridge

Shrimp Rasta Pasta (my new fav recipe)

Jerk Chicken

Cheers, to a great month!

Thank you for stopping by.

Beautycon NYC “Beauty Festival”

Beautycon 1

I am superrrr excited about the Beautycon festival!!! The main purpose of this event is to celebrate beauty with celebrities, bloggers and popular beauty brands. Not only do they host this beauty festival here in NYC but they also host it in LA and London. Check out their website for more information.

Beautycon 2Beautycon

Are you attending Beautycon NYC? If you are, let me know! I’d love to meet and chat with you. If not, have you heard of this festival before?

 

How to spring clean your makeup collection in 4 easy steps

Spring clean 2

Just like clothes, makeup changes along with the season! And sometimes we hold on to them a little longer than we should, without even noticing. As I shared with you guys in my post Blooming Flowers and April Goals, spring cleaning is one of my goals for this month. As I was cleaning, I thought it will be very useful to put together a makeup cleaning cheat sheet, to help you get rid of unnecessary makeup clutter. It is time to finally get rid of all the products that you do not need and treat yourself with new ones. When you are putting on your makeup, you want to know where everything is and know what you have.

Spring clean 6

Does this look familiar to you? If so, its time for a spring clean.


Step 1 – Divide makeup

Divide your makeup products by sections, it is up to you to divide the products how ever you please. What I like to do is divide them by face, lips and eyes. This way you can tackle them one by one, by groups.


Step 2 – Get rid of old/expired makeup

Although it is cute and you got it on sale somewhere in France, if its expired it has to go! Holding on to expired makeup, will cost you your beautiful skin!! The last thing you want or need is spending more money on getting your skin back to normal because you were too stubborn to let go.

Spring makeup cleaning guide:

Age

Products

3-4 Months

Mascara, Liquid Eyeliner

1 Year

Liquid Makeup, Cream Shadow

2 Years

Powder, Pencil Lip/Eyeliner, Lipstick, Lip gloss

Spring clean 4

For the sake of my beautiful skin, they had to go!


Step 3 – Wipe down products and organizers

After getting rid of all the unwanted products, you want to clean each product before storing them away. I like to use Invisible glass, because I can use it in different ways. We all know that some makeup products stain really bad and sometimes difficult to clean, however Invisible glass wipes it all off. I use it to wipe down my makeup mirror, makeup station and each product individually with a simple “spray and wipe” process! Usually, I will have to switch cleaning products depending on what I am cleaning but invisible glass does it all.

Spring Clean 1

One more thing, Invisible glass also has sunglasses wipes that you can use to wipe down your cute shades and electronics!! Once again, using one product to clean multiple things. Its small, so its easy to pop in your bag on your way out the door!

Spring clean 5


Step 4 – Store makeup in clear organizers

Oprah magazine’s amazing creative director Adam Glassman, suggests that this important so that you know what you have at all times. If you are like me and buy things simply because you cant find it, then you need to invest in some clear organizers. You will be saving money and space at the same time.

Spring clean 2

After a marvelous spring cleaning project.

Thank you for reading, I hope that this motivates you to do some spring cleaning of your own! ♥♥

Blooming Flowers and April Goals

April

Time waits for no one! Being that it is April already, this quote proves itself to be completely true. Phew, time is just flying by.

Although we are a couple days into this month, I thought I’d share my goals with you guys. Besides me being a neat freak and a huge planner, it is extremely important for me to have a productive year as a newbie in the blogging community. In order to have a great year, it is crucial to take one step at a time by taking each month at a time. Checking off each accomplishment as time goes, one by one.

Without further ado, here are my goals for April:

  • Finish reading “Tired of being tired by Jesse Lynn Hanley” 

Okay, so I believe the universe drew me to this book because I was looking for a cookbook online and I found this instead.  This book is exactly what I need to read right now, in order to reshape my plan for a healthier lifestyle. In just ten simple solutions, Jesse dissects each step and teaches you everything you need to know. This book influences most of my goals for this month. Has any read or heard of this book??

  • Walk at least 10,000 steps (5 miles) four times each week

I consider myself to be active for the most part, I love a good workout. However, I have been out of the gym for a couple months so I thought I start with something very simple and then work my way up. Otherwise, if I go back to my usual workout my body wont be able to keep up and I will most likely give up. Which is why I am taking one step at a time, literally!

  • Explore healthy recipes

For a healthy body, we must fuel our bodies with natural whole foods. Meaning that we must eat fruits and vegetables everyday. Eating fruits is not a problem for me as much as eating vegetables. If  I can actually enjoy eating vegetables, then I more likely to eat them frequently. This month I am going to get in the kitchen and try new recipes, so that I can enjoy my veggies. Any recipe recommendations?? Please let me know

  • Spring clean my room

After reading Three Minimalist Lessons in My Thirties,  from one of my favorite bloggers. I was inspired to clear my room and get rid of things that I do not use or need. I find myself holding on to things, just because its mine. I am talking about makeup, clothes, and shoes!! Oh my, I have so much things.

  • Publish a new post, at least 4 times a week

So far this is m 4th month as a blogger, woohoo!! Although I feel like I have been doing a great job thus far, I want to challenge myself to post at least four times a week for the rest of the month. How was your first couple months as a blogger? Do tell, I feel like I am alone and a bit puzzled sometimes!

I plan to accomplish my goals by planning out each week every Sunday. Making sure that I incorporate each goal within my weekly plan. I feel pretty good about this month.

What are your goals for April?