Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Miami Style Map: Getting Back To Business

Hello Squeezers! Hope you all had a beautiful holiday with your family and friends and I'm so excited to FINALLY share a new post with you all. I want to personally thank you for your continuing support and patience as I juggle all these 'balls' all while being a new mom of two kids. One kid is a walk in a the park, but two, well, that's a whole new ballgame onto itself! While I may be tired and a self-proclaimed 'mombie,' I wouldn't change it for the world because it rocks. These two tiny people are my favorite; even when they drive me mad. 

Liz from Ra-haus Fotografie ( and I teamed up to shoot this magical jumpsuit a few weeks back and excited to share the look and the fabulous pics with you guys. This is what I like to call my 'business chic' ensemble; which is a modern-woman-meets-working-girl with some of that 70's flair we've been seeing on the runway. Jumpsuits, big feminine bows sprinkled with some menswear inspo, and classic black and white color combos are some of the trends that continue to make a splash this spring. We saw it for fall, and spring is no exception. The only difference is a change in color palette. 

This look is exactly what I would wear to an office job because it's still playful but also work appropriate. Speaking of jobs, I've been toying with the idea of going back to work full-time. I've polished my resume and I'm currently updating my TV reel. I've gotten some great references and I've reached out to some of my old contacts. Now the only thing left to do is apply! I always knew that I wanted to go back to work full-time once I felt ready. On the one hand, I've been very fortunate that I've been able to freelance because it has given me the opportunity to be present for such a special time in both Maya and Rocco's lives. I've been there for some pretty remarkable 'firsts,' I've been able to do drop offs and pick ups, and I've been able to participate in so many school events because I'm able to make my own schedule. On the other hand, I've stayed connected to my career because of these freelance opportunities and have even traveled back to New York for work. As I've mentioned countless times before, my career is also a big part of who I am and if I didn't have a piece of that world in my everyday life, doing what it is I love to do, a part of me would be unsatisfied. I want Maya to know and see what it is to be so in love with doing something that you're passionate about and I want to be an example to her of what it is to be a well-rounded woman, who also happens to be a kick ass mommy and a career superhero! 

That's not to say it doesn't give me major anxiety to go back to work full-time. First off, I have to exercise those patience muscles and remember I'm in Miami- not New York- two very different playing fields as I've come to know. Second of all, depending on my schedule, I won't be spending my days with my babies and that's a whole new world for me; as is depending on outside help to assist with household and childcare duties. I'm so used to being in control and managing and organizing everything from feeding schedules to extracurricular activities, that letting go of some of these tasks is going to take some time getting used to. One thing I am looking forward to, though, is getting back to the swing of 'getting sh#$t done.' Working on segments, shooting stories, and getting those interviews is going to be such a fulfilling rush and its one of the most satisfying feelings of re-entering the workforce. 

And because its TV and its a more creative working environment, work attire is not so stuffy or 'business.' It's more relaxed; which allows for more dress-up options, like this statement jumpsuit from Forever 21. I love the way it elongates my legs because it makes me look like a glamazon supermodel! The jumpsuit is tailored all the way to the hip and then opens up with the wide-leg pant. I wore the jumpsuit with a white bowed blouse- my menswear element- which is still rather ladylike. This kind of jumpsuit is best worn with a shoe that has some height because anything else will make it look dumpy and cheapened. Plus, you don't want the bottom of your pants to drag. That's never in style! 

I can't wait to keep you posted on my job hunting adventures! Stay tuned.

On Me:

Jumpsuit- Forever 21
Blouse- H&M
Heels- Christian Siriano for Payless
Sunnies- Forever 21

In Style, 


Monday, March 21, 2016

A Painting Party Fit For a Princess!

I'm going on year FOUR of planning kid birthday parties, and any parent who knows a thing or two about birthday parties, knows that a kid birthday is like planning a White House state dinner. You promise yourself it'll be something small, 'let's keep it intimate' you say, but then it just builds and builds and the next thing you know, Poof! You got a birthday extravaganza of MTV proportions on your hands. But this year, I did want to keep it simple and I wanted it to be intimate and Maya was gung-ho about having her 'Cinderella party.' My challenge, however, was finding the right venue. I was stumped. I live in the Downtown Miami area and the choices for kid party venues are limited. I wanted something different that was still tailored to Maya's interests. Maya loves to paint so I was hoping to find somewhere that was reasonably priced; yet would deliver a top-notch birthday experience. 

Coincidentally, my friend told me about Zig Zag Zebra and suggested I check it out, and I'm so happy I did! Zig Zag Zebra is an art studio located in the Bird Road Arts district and it is the brainchild of former elementary school teacher, Maylene Medina. When I met Maylene, I knew that I was dealing with someone who not only was extremely passionate about cultivating creativity, but she adored children and had an ease when it came to getting them to focus and embrace their artistic personalities all while making it fun! She has an infectious, happy-go-lucky personality and its evident in the way the children interact with her and take pride in whatever piece of art they are creating. And I love that about her! Not only does ZZZ kids serve as a birthday party venue, but they also offer art classes for children, summer camp, and specially tailored art workshops for your little one to enjoy. It's a studio where mess is applauded and there's no such thing as a small idea! The world is your canvas. Literally. 

 I had found the perfect place to host Maya's 4th birthday. 

Maya's one birthday request was that she wanted a Cinderella-themed party. When I told her about doing a princess painting themed birthday to go along with her idea, she was giddy with excitement. I narrowed down the invite to her closest girlfriends- a few family and school friends - and thought it would be cute if they all came dressed as their favorite princess! I ran the idea by Maylene and she loved it! She even suggested the girls paint a princess-themed canvas. We went with a royal crown! I customized Cinderella invitations on Paperless Post( ), purchased Cinderella themed plates, napkins, cups, balloons and additional princess decor at Party City, and ordered a yummy Cinderella cake from Publix. 

One of Zig Zag Zebra's selling points was that in addition to being a very kid-friendly environment, it also allowed for the adults to mingle in a separate area but also interact in the art studio with the children if they chose. We were allowed to bring wine, which to me, is a necessity when you're dealing with a kid birthday party. It was so wonderful to see the parents help the girls with their paintings, but also socialize over good food, good conversation, and good wine! 

When I arrived to set up for the party, I was in awe of the studio space! It's such an inviting space that feels so welcoming with all different artwork hanging on the walls (painted by other kids), the vibrant colors and accessories in every corner of the art room, and the play area set up for the children that was used in between painting sessions. It was a such a happy space and I knew that I had picked the right location for my sassy little girl! And when I saw the main table set up with 15 mini chairs and paintbrushes, along with the crown canvases and the tiny smocks for our little Picassos, I was obsessed! It was a painter's paradise and I couldn't wait for the girls to take their seats! 

When Maya arrived at the party in her Cinderella dress and she saw the sign with her name outside, she was so happy. When she went inside and saw all the decorations and saw the set up with the easels and canvases on the table, she said, "Look mami!" She couldn't stop staring and she was taking it all in. It's the only seal of approval I needed. The princess painting party was so far, a success! Little by little, all the princesses showed up and took their stools in preparation for the painting class! Maylene gave the girls a quick rundown of what they were going to be doing and gave them a lesson on all their tools and colors so they knew exactly what to do. Watching these girls so focused on picking their colors and painting these crowns was so awesome to watch. They were having such a great time. Once they were done, Maylene and her assistants (did I mention how hands-on and helpful her team was) worked on outlining each of the paintings and the girls were brought in one by one to personalize their respective canvases with jewels and rhinestones. They took it very seriously! 

While the paintings set, I had Maribel, from Yartu Face Painting (, come and do her magic on the girls. Talented is an understatement when it comes to Maribel. There's nothing she can't paint. She's a whiz with a brush and her face painting options are limitless. She painted everything from My Little Pony to Unicorns and Mermaids. Needless to say, the princesses were pleased! After face painting, we sang 'Happy Birthday' to Maya and because I'm an emotional mess when it comes to my kids, I teared up. I  got emotional not only because of how much she was enjoying her party, but because I'm watching this little girl become such a kind, intelligent, and independent being that it makes me so proud to see her beauty blossom into something so pure and sweet. She closed her eyes tight to make a wish and had a smile from ear to ear when she blew out that candle. My only hope for her is that she continues to share her loving and curious spirit with those around her. We are so proud to be her parents! It was extra meaningful to have my dad, his wife, and my aunt here for the party. It really made Maya's day.

Before the party came to an end, Maylene had all the girls take their paintings and pose outside for a group picture with their masterpieces! They were so proud and so excited to show off their crowns. And because we didn't want the painting adventures to end, each princess went home with a goodie bag that included a paintbrush, a paint palette, and a princess canvas to decorate at home. 

Coco and I were so pleased and so delighted with the way that everything turned out. Zig Zag Zebra and their 'paint squad' went above and beyond delivering unforgettable memories and guaranteed fun for Maya and all her friends. The next day at school, I had several parents tell me how their girls couldn't stop talking about the party. Funny enough, neither could Maya! If you're looking for a unique and personalized birthday party experience, look no further than Zig Zag Zebra. 

A special thank you to Jenise Subervi of Photos by Jenise for doing such a brilliant job in capturing all the joy and sheer fun of Maya's 4th birthday! Her photos were visually engaging and perfectly show what a great time everyone had! 

To book your party at Zig Zag Zebra, visit their website at or call owner extraordinaire, Maylene Medina at (786) 853-1889.

In Style, 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Crash Course Into Becoming A Flamenco Dancer!

I’ve never met a dance film I didn’t like. Ask me how many times I’ve watched ‘Step It Up’ or ‘Save the Last Dance’ and it’s almost embarrassing. I’m guilty of staging my own choreographed routines just so I can live out my fly girl dreams ala Jennifer Lopez. So when the opportunity came to catch renowned Flamenco sensation, Farruquito, at the Flamenco Festival held at the Adrienne Arsht Center, I gave an enthused, Pues Claro! How hard could it be?!

Well, actually really hard. To be quite honest, I know nothing about flamenco, except that I’m a flamenco enthusiast. I’ve been to countless shows from Sevilla to New York and I enjoy them immensely. That’s as far as it goes. And maybe after too many vino tintos, I fancy myself a flamenco dancer, hand gestures and all. The dance and the storytelling that is achieved through the combined forces of the ‘canto,’ ‘baile,’ and ‘toque,’ is a passionate language of love and emotion. It is a marriage of the singer and the song and the melody. There is so much technique that goes into the dance, and the most important factor is following the rhythm and counts of the singer’s cante. Every region has its own rhythm and cante, and when you dance flamenco, what changes is el ‘marcaje' (where you step and accentuate), which is dependent on the region. The singer and the dancer engage in an almost seamless conversation through movement that appears effortless. 

However, effortless it is not as I came to learn! I also learned that I have two left feet and almost tripped a few times and was not in synch with the counts or was I following along as I expected, with Farruquito’s ‘palmado.’ There was a lot of ‘uno, DOS, tres, cuatro, cinco, SEIS, siete, ocho, NUEVE…’ and Farruquito making it look so easy. There were also lots of technical terms like compas and compas de alegria and buleria. The goal is to really listen to what kind of ‘compas’ it is, so you can dance to that particular rhythm. Flamenco is not about learning a choreography- anyone can do that- its about listening to the person singing and what they’re playing and accentuating, because thats when you clap and you ‘marcar (marcaje)’ with your feet (the really fun part where you stomp but have to restrain from stomping too hard because then you definitely won’t look like a pro).

I failed terribly at ‘marcando’ and replicating any of Farruquito’s cantos and palmas. I looked like a fumbling hot mess trying to marcar with my feet while simultaneously trying to find the right count when I did my palmas. My coordination was off, bumping into the person next to me, all while trying to muster some form of dignity and comprehension so my teacher wouldn’t think I was complete flamenco rookie! Thankfully, the workshop was for all ages and all levels. I did scan the room and concluded I was still the least coordinated person there. But you know what? I had fun and I walked away with a new respect for this dance. 

When I got home later that evening, I was trying to demonstrate to my husband all the moves (or lack thereof) that I picked up at the workshop. I did my palmas and all those hand movements flamenco is popular for, and I danced all over my living room. I realized that for that hour and a half, I dared to try something that I never thought I would try and whether I was good at it or not, it didn’t matter. I got a taste of what it meant to be a flamenco dancer- the discipline it entails and all the hard work that comes with it- and I can say that I tried. The art of flamenco is beautiful; but, difficult to master. I’ll leave it to the professionals and watch admiringly from the comfort of my seat! 

In Style, 


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Rocco Report/Miami Style Map: Having a Miscarriage Doesn't Make You Different; It Makes You Like Everybody Else

It's not lost on me that many women struggle to get pregnant. It's something, that for the most part, is out of our biological control; and yet, many women feel at fault when they have a hard time conceiving or when they suffer some sort of miscarriage along the way. 

I was very fortunate that I got pregnant rather quickly. Both Maya and Rocco were conceived on the first try, much to the dismay of my husband, who was so looking forward to months of endless sex (poor guy). I never took that fact for granted. I personally know many women who have struggled or currently struggle to have a child and my heart breaks for them. I can only imagine how many tears, how much heartbreak, or how many 'why me?' questions, they suffer through when things don't go according to plan. And yet, many of them never give up, never lose hope, never stop trying. That's admirable and brave. 

You never think about it, really, until it happens to you. And it did. I had an ectopic pregnancy in May of 2014 and it broke me. It was unexpected, and a fluke, we came to learn, which made it tougher to swallow since there was no rhyme or reason as to why it happened. We were ecstatic to find out that we were pregnant with our second. Growing our brood was always the plan and now that dream was becoming a reality. Coco was over the moon, yet simultaneously bummed, because again, pregnant on the first try meant no more sexy time trying to make a baby! I was immediately tired, slightly nauseous, and moody. I peed on the stick and did the blood work (the numbers kept going up). I was very much pregnant and I was thrilled. We shared the news immediately with a very small number of family members.

Shortly thereafter, I started spotting. Now, spotting is pretty normal when you're pregnant, only I never spotted with Maya so I was a bit concerned. I called the doc, she reassured me it was perfectly normal, but if it didn't stop, to call her. Not only did it stop, when I went for the next round of blood work, my numbers went up again. I was scheduled for my first trans vaginal ultrasound. I was 5.5 weeks and we were hoping to hear the heartbeat, or if not, at least see it. They saw a sac, but no heartbeat yet. It wasn't much to worry about, I was told. It was still early so they scheduled an appointment for the following week. A few days after that, we left to LA for one of my dear friend's wedding. We couldn't wait to share the news with them. There was much to celebrate! This pregnancy was already exhausting me, but that didn't stop me from dancing all night long and having a good ol' time! I had nothing to worry about.

The next morning, I started spotting again. I freaked out. What if I overdid it at the wedding? What if I danced too much or too hard? What if I carried Maya for too long? I made myself nuts with countless 'what ifs.' I called the doctor and she said she would schedule an ultrasound on an earlier date just to check things out. I knew that something wasn't right. I know my body and something was off. I told Coco I wanted to come home a day early so I could get this ultrasound done. I was a nervous wreck. 

The night before my ultrasound, I couldn't sleep. I was still lightly spotting and I couldn't stop my racing mind. Patience is not my strongest virtue, and my anxiety levels were through the roof. The morning of that appointment, I showed up 45 minutes early and waited. Those were the longest 45 minutes I could remember and sitting through that silent ultrasound was even worse. You are so exposed emotionally and you are just lying there hoping for some information but instead, hearing nothing because the technicians aren't allowed to give you any results. It was excruciating. I kept asking, "can you see anything?" "can you hear anything?" and all she kept saying was, "you're still very early," and that the doctor would be in to talk to me after the exam. 

It was back to the waiting room- and then- a call. It was my OBGYN's office. The doctor on site had called to give my doctor the results. I was having an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic what? I had heard about ectopic pregnancies but never really thought about it, because why would I? I never had an issue getting pregnant so why this now? An ectopic pregnancy is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo attaches outside the uterus ( Basically it's not a viable pregnancy and considered extremely dangerous (sometimes deadly) because it can cause your tubes to  rupture. It can also lead to infertility. I was numb. I called Coco to meet me at the OBGYN's office so we could plan out the next steps. Unlike miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies have to be terminated right away to avoid any complications and/or death. 

The car ride was a blur. I felt so shitty. I felt like there was something wrong with me. As I sat there in my doctor's office, waiting for her to come in, I started crying. I felt terrible and alone and even though Coco was there with me, it just sucked. I felt pregnant. I was starting to get attached. I had told everyone and now- this. Miscarriages are so common in women. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriages ( One in 50 of those pregnancies are ectopic. Chances are, someone you know has had either a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. It's that common. Yet, women feel the need to keep quiet about it and find it difficult to share. There's shame and humiliation attached to it. But why? It isn't our fault this happened. If we all talked about it to one another, there would be so much more acceptance, support, and healthy encouragement amongst women. We don't have to go through it alone. There's nothing wrong with you! It doesn't make you any less of a women or any less of a mother for going through these unfortunate situations. 

I didn't have any of the risk factors associated with an ectopic, which made it frustrating.  Ectopic pregnancies are treated two ways- one is surgery, the other is using a drug called, methotraxate, which is used to treat cancer patients. The injection is administered by a gynecological oncologist. After my visit to the OB, she sent me right away to see the gynecological oncologist for the shot. The hope was that I would only need one shot to terminate the ectopic pregnancy. I would have to do blood work every 2-3 days to make sure my HCG numbers went back to zero. Sometimes it takes two rounds of methotraxate, but thankfully, I only had to go through one. The aftermath felt like a very bad, and heavy period. I had cramps and some pain, but it was bearable. I rested for the first few days and took it easy. I was down in the dumps for the first day or two, but hanging out with Coco and Maya, and catching a flick with my best friend, cheered me up tremendously. 

I had to wait three to four months before trying again, and before trying, I had to make sure my fallopian tubes were in good shape. I went in for what's called a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG test In layman's term, a tube is inserted through the vagina and into the uterus. A dye is injected and will flow into the tubes. From there, a doctor will check for blockage of any kind and see what's going on inside the tubes to better determine what caused the ectopic pregnancy. It's also done to determine a women's fertility. I had no blockage whatsoever, and thankfully, two healthy tubes. There was no damage. The ectopic was a rare occurrence, in my case. For once, my neurosis and anxiety saved my life. Spotting is one of the earliest indicators of an ectopic. If I would have ignored it, my outcome would have been very different and much worse.  

The good news was that even after having an ectopic, my likelihood of getting pregnant again was still high. Yes, my chances of having another ectopic pregnancy also went up, but I much rather focus on the positive. My wonderful doctor, Dr. Roselyn Bonilla, and Coco were immensely supportive and I was so happy to have received positive results. More importantly though, when I started talking to other women about what had happened to me, I was shocked to learn how many had either had ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages themselves. We shared the same emotional storyline of frustration, sadness, humiliation, and defeat. But we also shared the same story of hope, of encouragement, of love, and of resilience. I realized that having an ectopic pregnancy didn't make me different or make me a failure, it made me just like everybody else. And there was nothing to be ashamed of! 

On Janaury 2015, I found out I was expecting! We welcomed a happy and healthy baby boy on September 9th. Of course, I was excited and terrified when we learned we were pregnant. I wasn't so quick to share the news this time around. I waited. Every first trimester appointment came with some nerves and trepidation, and when we heard that heartbeat, it was the most beautiful sound in the world. Once I was out of the first trimester,  we told the world! Sometimes, at the very moment we are navigating choppy waters, we have no idea why these things are happening in our life. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even if that reason isn't very clear at first. My experience of having an ectopic pregnancy has given me the chance to share my story with others and help remove a stigma that many women feel over something that is very mainstream and has nothing to do with who we are as individuals. I am also aware that my story had a happy ending, some don't, and many women have a difficult and painful road to motherhood that is not always ideal or successful. 

I do not take that for granted and I am thankful to God, each and everyday, for my two greatest gifts because there is no greater joy in my life than my children. 

A special thank you to photographer, Yesica Flores, of Simply Lively (  for capturing these beautiful images of me and my little boy. I don't think she had any idea that her photos would be part of such a touching, and emotional tapestry of womanhood and motherhood! Thank you for being part of my story. 

On Me: 

Slip Dress- Forever 21
Coat- Guess
Boots- Free People 

In Style, 

Kat (Rocco and Maya's Mom)