Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!! // Evolution Of The New Year Ball Drop In Times Square

   
  Happy New Year!! I wish prosperity and happiness to you, friends of Urbanéss. I have enjoyed blogging for the first time this year, 2014. Many thanks to the people that have been following my posts, I look forward to continuing finding inspiration to share with the world through 2015 and beyond. 

©http://vishava.com

    One of my many favorite things about a New Year's celebration is watching the ball drop in New York. I have not been fortunate enough to physically be there to experience this, but I think it's just as exciting watching it on tv or on the internet. Just for fun, I have included some of the most popular New Year's Ball Drops. ↓


1st Ball Drop in 1907

©http://www.balldrop.com/

    Also, thanks to my half Colombian heritage, I have been brought up with ridiculous (but interesting) superstitions that you must follow in order to have good luck in the new year. For instance, on New Year's Eve you have to wear yellow underwear, or eating twelve grapes for each month and make a wish with each one right at midnight. One of my personal favorites is that if you want to travel, you have to run around the block with some kind of luggage. 


Countdown to 1999

©http://i.ytimg.com/

























    
    Yes, I know that the color of my undergarments, lentils or any other of these cherished acts of faith isn't going to affect my fate for 2015, but it's a fun way to connect to tradition of many cultures and I'm happy to know that I'm doing the same things my family has done for as long as anyone can remember.


Ball Drop 2000

©http://www.timessquarenyc.org/


    I also love seeing the energy and and positivity* that the idea of a fresh start gives people, but my dad reminded me of something very important today: New Year's is really nothing other than a day on the calendar.... That "fresh start" and "new beginning" that people look forward to, can be found at anytime. It is up to us to take charge of the moment and make the day whatever we want it to be. 


Ball Drop 2014

©http://villagealliance.org/




























     There are so many cultures that celebrate New Year's all around the world.... Do you have any unique traditions, food or things that you appreciate most about New Year's? Enjoy as we may, all of the festivities and hysteria, but let us not forget that it's really just Wednesday. :)

                                                  Feliz Año Nuevo, Bonne Année and Happy New Year!

*it is a word, I looked it up :D

Monday, December 29, 2014

What to expect in 2015

**Almost

    We are almost there! As the hours tick down, I have been brainstorming about things that I want to see different with the new year.

Here I am listing some of the desired changes in the world of Urbanéss:

  1. There's going to be a feature inspired by the basic and widely-used "Outfit of the Day". My spin on it will include what to wear to different places and events. This is my way of hopefully connecting to most people's everyday fashion perplexities and provide some of my style advice and ideas. 
  2. The next feature will be a Style Watch page. My search would be unlimited ranging from high-profile royals and socialites to the girl-next-door. To gain a spotlight on my Style Watch, the only requirement is to have sparkling sense of style that inspires me and therefore, my readers.
  3. I will welcome comments on my posts. I find that feedback will be beneficial for all of us. I want to know what my readers think; your opinions would definitely help me make this a more reader-friendly and enjoyable blog to follow. I have the vision of our conversations to be respectful and hopefully enriching.

I hope everyone has a fun filled (and *safe*) New Year's Eve and Day. See you in  2015! 


Ciao for now :)


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas To All, 2014


    Hi everyone! Hope you have fun opening gifts and spending time with your families and friends. I know I will. :) Enjoy the bright lights and if you're lucky, beautiful white snow.


Check out more #xmas2014 photos in my Photo Album^^. Thank you for stopping by and have a Happy Holiday!




Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 Christmas Special: Winter Favorites

   It's about that time of year again and I can't even begin to express how happy I am to be on vacation and at home! 
   Here I thought I would share with you a collection of the things I love most about the winter season and most of all, Christmas!

For those days that I sleep in and just want to stay warm and comfy on my couch, I do everything from paint my nails to brew a one of a kind tea or hot cocoa. :)


While trying to kill time, I find myself redoing my nails even when they were probably fine to begin with. Anyway, one of my favorite fall/winter trends this year included the deep, almost black, oxblood nail polish. It is such a sophisticated and dreamy color, and a bonus is that it goes with almost anything!
<---I found this great bottle at Urban Outfitters
Blegh, if I had to pick my least favorite thing about cold weather, it would definitely be chapped lips. But EOS has the perfect remedy for the pain that comes with dryness.... a lip balm that stops the chap before it even starts! I love the sweet mint-->
the best because it leaves such a fresh feel and best of all, it smells like Christmas! ❄︎
Warm tea in a cozy mug...This is one of the things I do like about cold weather. My favorite tea comes from Teavana because of how fresh the tea is and simply how fun it is to make it! Another bonus to drinking tea is all of the options for mugs. Some of them are so cute and I think The Freckled Fox did the best job of putting together a collection. Check it out at "from one hot drink lover to another."
The tough thing about living in a place where it's warm most of the year is that I miss out on the use of ridiculously fuzzy blankets! I have about three, and I love them so much that I practically wear them as sweaters. :) 





   


 This holiday season, I encourage you to embrace your challenges with the upcoming new year and to never forget to appreciate your family and friends. Take a minute, slow yourself down, and open your mind by living in the moment and being happy. 















Saturday, October 25, 2014

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons Cover Art
    I have always enjoyed mystery stories, but I had never experienced something like the thrilling riddles that Angels and Demons contained. The struggle between understanding religion and science is brought to extreme measures and this shows how much we take religious/scientific peace for granted. 
    I had heard some small conspiracy theories starring the Illuminati but I never knew exactly what it all meant. Dan Brown set it all up in such an interesting way. As horribly evil the Illuminatus society turned out to be, I could not stop thinking about how ingenious and brilliant their tactics were. Despite some of the gruesome parts of this story, I feel like the chase and the time limit really sped up the pace of the plot. It was amazing to see how much action and strategy that Dan Brown could fit into just a few hours in the story. This makes it relatable because so much happens in our lives in a flash. We go through such an incredible load of experiences in our short life times and Angels and Demons really explores the possibilities. 
    It's great to see someone be as smart as the main character, Robert Langdon. He and his partner, Vittoria Vetra, race through Rome with only their brains as a weapon. The amount of history and information that Dan Brown was able to squeeze into this story is fascinating. While I was reading the book, I felt as if I was actually there, walking through the streets, seeing the famous monuments and statues.
    I am excited to now be able to see the movie and after that, spend my weekend curled up with The Da Vinci Code. I'm looking forward to all of the new puzzles and secrets that are going to boggle my mind.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hair: Braids, Ponytails and Twists!

Logo cutegirlshairstyles.com
    If there is one thing I have the most fun doing, it would be hairstyling. I used to just wear my hair the same way everyday until a couple of years ago, when I started to experiment with various styles. This year I have become a bit famous for my creativity and everyone asks me to do their hair! It is so much fun and I really enjoy the feeling I get from making people feel special. 
    After I had kind of worn out all of my styles, I started looking for more, and for tutorials on how to master certain techniques. I found Cute Girls Hairstyles and I could not stop looking at all of the inventive and original ideas that Mindy McKnight has thought up. Her 5 daughters are adorable and I am so jealous of their beautiful long hair. This blog has taught me so much about hair and how to get it to do what you want. Cute Girls Hairstyles follows a lot of the newest trends since her daughters are in school. This made me realize the reason why you see a lot of the same hairstyles everywhere. 
    Recent fads I have seen in the past few years, that have been continuously reborn throughout generations, have been Top Knots and French Braids. When the buns were popular, you didn't see braids at all and vise-versa. That gave me an inspiration: to always try to wear what is not in style. That way it's always fun to see how people are fascinated with what is different and then slowly see the transition in what everyone wears. 
    If you ever need any ideas for a hairstyle for any occasion, go to http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/. For a quick preview of what you might see, I posted the links to some of my favorite styles down below. ⬇︎

Bow Braid:
http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/hairstyles/time/10-15mins/diagonal-bow-braid/

This style is so beautiful, but it is equally hard to accomplish. I have tried this braid so many times, and I haven't been able to get the hang of it yet! I wish you good luck!




Flower Bun
http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/hairstyles/time/5-10mins/dutch-flower-braid-updo-hairstyles/










Crown Rope Twist http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/hairstyles/time/5-10mins/crown-rope-twist-braid/




 
Another one of my favorite hairstyling sites is http://www.hairromance.com/. Be sure to check it out!

And as Mindy says, "Happy Hairdoing!"




Monday, September 1, 2014

The Hundred Foot Journey

Poster The Hundred Foot Journey
    My mother invited me to see this movie along with my dad at our local theater the other day and I absolutely loved it! Helen Mirren is such a fantastic actress and I think that she was perfect for the role of Madame Mallory. Her entire demeanor brought so much to the movie. I also couldn't resist the Indian family that the story centers around. Their dad was just too cute! And the kids made their life more realistic and human. I had never heard of Manish Dayal before and I could not believe how much I loved him. Apart from being super handsome, he made a great Hassan, an underestimated (but ambitious) self-taught cook. 


   I loved how this story had a simple plot and domestic conflicts but complicated emotions surrounding it all. Through this, we are once again reassured that it is best to follow your dreams at any expense with the hopes that you will be happy overall. However, you will not always find happiness in the expected places. Hassan makes it to the highest he could go in professional French cuisine thanks to his natural ability to mix cultures through food ingredients. While in that top position, he realized that it took a lot more than fame and fortune to feel the beauty and satisfaction he got from the life he left behind him. This movie if full of color and great photographic scenery, you can almost smell the aromas coming from the kitchens.  This feature is definitely on my top ten movies list and I could watch it again and again. I like this kind of feel-good stories and The Hundred Foot Journey is my favorite so far. I hope you enjoy it too. Salút!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Life Is Sweet

©http://www.eatingwell.com/
    Smoothies are a perfect way to have the sweet, cold dessert that you're craving while still watching those calorie and sugar counts. Even without adding any sweetener, these great drinks are a delicious treat! Ever since a Vitamix lovingly entered my home, I have really been splurging on my concoctions . It's really fun to experiment and create my own recipes. My favorite is what we normally call a Triple Berry smoothie, but instead of using ice and regular berries, I use a mix of frozen berries. I make sure they are always organic.

      I'd like to share my love of smoothies in a little list of recipes. I have tried to include ingredients that comply with common food allergies and sensitivities.



 **For more yummy smoothies, shakes etc., click on the Blendbook tab at the top of the page.


©http://foodgawker.com/tag
Nési's Triple Berry Smoothical
    Ingredients
        ~1 bag of frozen mixed berries
        ~1 1/2 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt (Dairy Free: 1 cup of ice and one cup of almond milk)
        ~a splash of orange juice
        ~1/2 of a banana

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Cover Art The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
C. S. Lewis is a really unique author. I love his writing style and his characters, they somehow feel real as well as having a sort of fictional quality about them. 

    I think that even though this book is very short and easy, it is delightful. I like C. S. Lewis' creativity in establishing this fictional world. I consider the Chronicles of Narnia very entertaining. However, through another author I realized that C. S. Lewis lacks humor in his stories. Matilda, protagonist of Roald Dahl's children's novel Matilda (my all-time favorite book) says,

 " ‘I liked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,’...‘I think Mr C. S. Lewis is a very good writer. But he has one failing. There are no funny bits in his books.’....
....‘Do you think that all children’s books ought to have funny bits in them?’ Miss Honey asked.
‘I do,’ Matilda said. ‘Children are not so serious as grown-ups and love to laugh.’
    Matilda's wise words ring true to me even today, it's nice to laugh more than once in a while. Sometimes it's fun to read an easy book, childrens' novels are very enjoyable when you let your imagination run wild.  :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grace-ful Mia

   Mia Grace Richardson is a talented dancer. I have had the pleasure of knowing her since we were both much younger. She is now around 17 years old and a dedicated ballet student. I always knew, from those fun hula-hooping and tap-dancing moments, that Mia would get far with her art. I was delighted to see her featured in an Ula Sport video spot. My family and I were emotional to see how well her hard work has started to pay off. 

    Ula Sport is a brand that expanded on the idea of the usual "yoga attire". They use super fine cotton and silks from all over the world. The designer has created many styles with the purpose of devising the feeling of a "second skin".  Ula Sport has clothes that are made for anything where you move. They promote their brand by taking talented performers of every kind of dance, yoga, gymnastics or martial art and making videos of them wearing clothes from Ula Sport. 

Click below  to watch the video of Mia Richardson in Times Square. 




Click the link to see more videos on the Ula Sport Website!

http://www.ulasport.com/videos#!prettyPhoto[movies3]/11/

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Language De L'amour: Vanessa Paradis

    One of my favorite languages in the world is French, I love how it sounds in music especially. When I first heard of Vanessa Paradis I immediately became a fan of her music. She debuted her first song, "Joe Le Taxi" , which made it to the top charts, when she was only fourteen years old. I don't understand everything she's saying in the lyrics, but it is about a taxi driver named Joe in Paris. Now in her early 40's, Vanessa Paradis still performs. Her voice is much more mature and she still sounds beautiful. My favorite of her more recent songs is "Il Y A", which translates to "there is".

    Vanessa Paradis is very famous around the world not only for her musical career but also as an actress and model for Chanel. Many other well-known artists have done covers of her songs. Here, listen to "Joe Le Taxi" and "Il Y A" . Click on the videos below. ↓

                                                                Joe Le Taxi



Il Y A









Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sweet Poetry


     Although I would not call myself a chocolate person, I enjoy eating Chocolove. My mom and I discovered it at our local Health Foods Store and we both couldn't stop eating it! I prefer dark chocolate and it surprised me how many options I had to choose from. The two chocolate bars pictured are my favorite, especially the coffee crunch.

    A special feature of Chocolove is the love part. On every wrapper there is a different love poem. All of these poems are unique, some are even from famous romantic plays and writers. I have included a picture of the poem from the Almonds and Sea Salt bar below. ↓ The surprise factor is always great, you never know what poem you're going to get and which poet you are going to discover.  If you would like to see all of the different flavors and sizes check out Chocolove at their website: https://www.chocolove.com/

Click to read the poem. Thanks! <3




Friday, August 1, 2014

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie

Cover Art Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie
    This book was a really cool find for me because it is different from a lot of other books like this. Instead of being the normal sob (but understandable) cancer story, this book tells it from the older brother's point of view. Steven is a middle schooler that has a hard time telling anybody about his little brother's condition while trying to lead a normal life. I like how this story doesn't center completely around the cancer, but it symbolically shows Steven's struggle to get control of his life, trying to support his brother (Jeffery), but also working on his own things and social life. This story was narrated in the sarcastic tone of a 14 year old boy who earns a lot of wisdom over a span of one school year. 

    I was pleasantly impressed by Steven's compassion for his younger brother, he would do anything for him. The "conflict"  or "obstacle" of the story was not caused by Steven's lack of perception for Jeffery's condition, but because of an internal self- acceptance that he is forced to learn. 

I really loved this book, I would recommend it to readers of any age. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dinner For Schmucks

Cover Art Dinner For Schmucks
    I watched this movie last night and I could not stop laughing. Steve Carell is just inhumanly funny as an innocent man who stumbles upon a man who learns a thing or two from him. Even though throughout the story, Steve Carell's character (Barry) seems really thick skulled and childish, he shows a kind of compassion and humanity that really makes him different. Even after his only friend puts him down and treats him badly, Barry is still there, doing the right thing. Apart from the comedy side of it, there is a really strong life lesson that I think can make a huge difference. I thought that this film had all the components that it takes to have a great movie; internal conflict, romance, comedy, drama, complications, and a couple of really crazy characters. 

    Take it from me. Even though it's hard sometimes, stay true to yourself and do what you know is right, and everything will work out better. 




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

La La La (Brasil 2014)

 
Promo La La La (Brasil 2014)
   With the excitement past of this year's FIFA World Cup, I can lean back and think about it clearly. I loved rooting for my favorite teams with my family and seeing the flags and colors in the stadiums. Along with all of that I was so happy to see that Shakira was coming out with another World Cup song. After Waka Waka for 2010, Shakira definitely had a high expectation for this year's song. I think that La La La (Brasil 2014) was really good and that it met the intensity of these fútbol games. 

    I love Shakira, of course, she's Colombian. :) And I love her patriotism for Colombia. One of my favorite things about the La La La music video is all the flags and support from people in the video for their own countries. The face paint, the flags every where, and faces of every race representing their people and their players out on the field. I like the English version, but since I do speak Spanish, I really love the Spanish version. Even if you don't speak Spanish, I think you would still enjoy it.  Down below  there is the video and I've included a link to the English version if you would like to know what the lyrics mean.

    This is a very fun song and a great video, happy "fútbol-ing". :)






La La La (Brasil 2014) English Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-7knsP2n5w


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ondademar

Logo Ondademar
    Ondademar is a Colombian swimwear brand that has great patterns and styles that are recognized around the world. 
   
    Being half Colombian, I started wearing Ondademar when I was just a baby. Not a lot of people here in the U.S. know about Ondademar so it has always been very cool for me to have unique bathing suits. Something I think that Ondademar does very well is that the patterns are applied to all the different sizes and styles. As you can see below ↓, the collections are not exclusive. 

    I love all the beautiful swimsuits that I've seen come out for 2014. If you want to stand out on the beach or by the poolside at any age, check out Ondademar.






Women's Shell Bikini


Shell Collection

Baby Shell One-Piece




 
   Girl Shell One-Piece 


Ania Collection

Women's bandau Ania Bikini 


Women's Ania One Piece

These were some of my picks for the summer:

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Selection

Cover Art The Selection
When I read The Selection for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it. The way this book was written really got my attention. 

    I always love an internal conflict and America's choice between Aspen and Maxon really broke my heart for her. This was the kind of story where I picked a side and then the whole time I was reading it I was like, "Yes! Fall in love with Maxon!" or "No! Bad America! Do NOT think about Aspen!" Note the exclamation points. :) There was no way I could stop at just the first book, I just inhaled the next two. The plot line was just so good it was impossible to stop until I knew who she picked. I went for Prince Maxon by the way, sorry to all you Aspen fans out there.... 

    I definitely suggest reading this book! And don't miss out on book 2 and 3!




Cover Art The One #3
Cover Art The Elite #2


Obvious :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

No Resevations

Cover Art No Reservations
I really enjoyed watching this movie for the first time, Catharine Zeta-Jones was perfect choice for this character. The main character Kate, is a tightly wound top chef that all of the sudden finds herself the guardian of her tiny little niece, Zoe. Zoe was played by Abigail Breslin and I loved her character. Even though she was no more than five years old, she was always right in the movie. She knew how the story had to end. 

    Apart from the great romantic story that unfolds, you get to experience the realization that Kate goes through that changes her life. I am a huge chef/cooking show person and it was really interesting for me to get an inside look on how real kitchens work. What surprised me was the intensity and stress level at which those  cooks have to work. I wish I had that kind of ability. :)  



Saturday, July 26, 2014

We Made Sushi!

Home made sushi
    Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that sushi might be my only constant obsession. I have no recollection of me ever disliking sushi, even when I was very young. :) So, a few days ago, I got to cross something off of my bucket list. I made my very own sushi! It was so much fun, but extremely hard to do in the beginning. The nori kept ripping, but after a couple rolls, I got the hang of it. 
   
    My rolls had shrimp (cooked of course), avocado, matchstick-sliced cucumber (not easy. At all), and a tuna-lemonnaise mixture (best thing I have ever had in sushi). 

    I am friends with our local super market sushi chef and he taught me how to home-make that tuna creamy thing that is always so good. Just in case you wanted to try it, I included the recipe down below. 




Nési's Tuna-Cream Sushi Filling Recipe
1 can of tuna
2 1/2 Tbs lemonnaise (healthy alternative for mayonnaise)
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

1. Strain canned tuna until dry
2. Mix tuna with lemonnaise until the tuna is evenly creamy
3. In a separate bowl, mix vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves
4. Stir vinegar and sugar into the tuna mixture until smooth
5. Enjoy :)



Friday, July 25, 2014

The Testing

Cover Art The Testing
    This was an incredibly thrilling book, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. When I finally was able to take a break from reading it, I couldn't stop thinking about the characters and plot twists. Definitely one of the best books I had read this summer. The way that the author wrote this story made you feel like you were right there with Cia and Tomas and the other Testing contestants, fighting for your life. 
  
    I did read the Hunger Games and I think that this book leveled with me a bit better. It's a similar feel, but I enjoyed the depth and mystery of the characters in The Testing. 

    I hope that the word gets around that this book is out because I think that this series is going to be a big hit. Be sure to check The Testing out as well as the next two books in the series, Independent Study and Graduation Day.



Cover Art Graduation Day
Cover Art Independent Study