An Open Letter to Latina Magazine

Dear Latina Magazine,

I have seen your magazine for many years crossing through supermarkets across the country, in airports, and even doctors offices. I’ll be honest I’m not a huge magazine person.

Though I will admit I do occasionally buy magazines before long flights, it’s not something I invest in. I skip over yours like so many others.

So why this letter? Why to you if I don’t read your magazine.

Well after the debacle with Kylie Jenner and PopSugar, calling her a mix of your favorite Latinas. They obviously received a lot of backlash for that and pulled the article down and apologized.

My friend and fellow Latina Vanesa Pacheco wrote a great piece about Kylie Jenner, here 

Yet, after that it seems publications haven’t learned. Recently, Latina Magazine, your magazine tweeted an article calling Beyonce “an honorary Latina.” Like many Latinas and Black women, I am pretty sure my eyes rolled so far back into my head they entered the next century.

This “nomination” you give her comes on the heels of her pro-black album Lemonade, though what strikes me is that you guys do this and, then no apology. No removal of the article. Nothing.

You guys chose to bury it under a bunch of Afro-Latina posts, like that would make it better. You know that’s like putting a vicks on a broken arm,  right? Sure abuela believes it works but yeah still a goddamn broken arm.

It was like you took your publication and slapped Afro-Latinas and honestly ALL Latinas of color right in the face. Not only that you somehow have decided to appropriate a Black American woman, thus insulting black women in the process.

Are the women you claim to represent with your publication not enough?  Yes, I am a white Latina of anglo background, but I can’t stand-by and watch this. I can’t stand-by pretending I am not in the least bit offended that someone would put a By line on such a crap article.

“Down with the brown” get the hell out of here please, just take your journalism degree and wad it up, chuck it.

You are not only representing Latin@s but you’re also representing hispanic journalists like myself and you’re doing a TERRIBLE job at it.

Furthermore you cite her Cuba trip and as a first generation American-Cuban, whose grandparents took my tiny mother and aunt off the island in 1967 because of the iron grip is absolutely so wrong.

Also how can you be Latina by association? My grade school best friend was half Israeli and half Peruvian so I am now by proxy Peruvian-Israeli by your logic correct?

Also liking Selena doesn’t make you Latina… Sorry guys! That has to be the weakest argument anymore and I am so tired of it.

Like no. Just no.

Can I ask why you feel the need to appropriate someone that has no REAL ties to Latina Culture and then a day later post Afro-Latina anthems? You can’t have it both ways, you can’t have your hand shoved in two different pots.

The fact that Vibe had to call you out and the article is still online, is still beyond me.

PopSugar at least said “hey my bad” and pulled theirs down, you can’t apologize, you don’t pull it down so you’re standing by your crap “honorary series.”

I looked through the archives, and I had to bite my lip out of frustration because it’s crap. You can’t just celebrate our Latin@s? You are called Latina…

You can’t bury it under a bunch of Afro-Latina links and articles and pretend this is going away.

No more of this honorary bullshit, no more of this comparing white celebs to Latinas, no more, enough, basta ya.

This whole idea seems to be we don’t have enough beautiful Latinas who deserved to be honored, Afro-Latina, Indigenous, Mestizas, Bi-racial, Chicanas, etc don’t sit here and act like they don’t exist because my friends exist.

These women exist in my hometown of Miami, in my college town of Boston, even here in my tiny Southwest Florida town I see them so why are you putting on blinders?

Why do you claim to be “Latina” when you can’t even honor the right people?

I watch the struggles, I grew up with girls looking for representation while I, a white Latina girl had so many to pick from and so many who represented me.

Give my fellow Latinas recognition, act like we all matter. I don’t want to be represented by people who can’t even be bothered to google “Afro-Latinas” and recognize them instead.

Instead you pick a black woman, man, white man, woman who have nothing to do with our culture. Just like you can’t be black by proxy or asian or whatever, you cannot be Latin@ by proxy.

We don’t like when our culture is appropriated so let’s not do it to others, you can’t cry with arms up when you see a costume or article making us look a certain way and then later say hey Bey, you’re down with the brown.

No jodas.

No more of this crap of acting like our women and men are not good enough. No more pretending that our broad spectrum of skin tones don’t intersect so many different cultures.

No more.


P.S. If any other Latin@s have anything to add drop me line, I’ll gladly publish letters or commentary about it.

Where is MY Disney

I first set foot on Disney property, carried by my parents at 18 months old. At the time only Magic Kingdom, Epcot and MGM (Now Hollywood Studios) existed, the resort looks nothing like it does today. I’m sure my mother at the time who was about the same age I am now felt the same way, being that her first trip was in 1976.


Spunky 18 month old me chilling outside of Daisy’s Cafe at Mickey’s Starland in the Magic Kingdom March 1991-ish? 

I grew up with the mouse, from films, music, books, toys, games and most importantly Disney trips. Unlike many other kids I am lucky, I live 3 and half hours from property and trips to Disney were like trips to the beach for me.

When I was 19 I worked in the College Program and got to make the same magic I grew up with. I’ll be 26 this year and all the changes that have happened and continue to happen leave me in awe. It has left me wondering what has happened to MY Disney, and Disney has come a long way since Mickey’s house.

Though Mickey’s house no longer exists, and Starland which became Birthdayland and then Toontown fair is no longer there. It has since been replaced by Storybook Circus during the expansion of Fantasyland in 2012.

While I miss the Old Fantasyland having worked much of it during my time on College Program, I realized change is amazing. Disney has newer and newer technology every year and to see where they are taking their parks and resorts proves that they are keeping Uncle Walt’s dream alive, though many would argue otherwise.

But it makes people like me miss what was and what has been, MY Disney is a thing of the past. Below are 10 of my favorite rides and attractions of the past and a few of my own memories.

10. MGM Studios Backlot Tour and Catastrophe Canyon 
Opened May 1, 1989
Closed September 27, 2014


Back when MGM opened on May 1, 1989 it was a race to the finish line, with Universal Studios Orlando erecting a park not even 10 miles down the road Disney had to step up their game. While the park was largely unfinished on opening day, it still had a great look into the movies and TV shows produced by Disney and up until very recently it still did.

The original version included a ride through the now pedestrian only New York Streets/Streets of America and a tour of the working studio. While I don’t recall the original version from the early 90’s at the time it was a real working studio and had both live action and animation happening on property.

Though as a kid I remember Catastrophe Canyon and being scared out of my wits as it caught fire and the tanker dropped. For me this was as real as it got, and I honestly believed we were in danger. The few memories I do have of the tour include the walking tour through the now closed Sound Stage 3 and seeing the exterior facade of the Golden Girls house.

All of the backlot is now closed, though some of the props still exist like Walt’s Plane and a few other film vehicles and will hopefully eventually be moved to make room for Star Wars.

Adam the Woo who creates videos about abandoned locations, as well fun Disney videos recently talked about his MGM studios and what the changes mean to him. Check him out below and check out some of his videos, he’s very informative.

9. Wonders of Life Pavilion 
Opened October 19, 1989
Closed January 1, 2007


Wonders of Life back in it’s heyday and when it still had Body Wars my personal favorite PHOTO FROM WALT DATED VIS WDW MAGIC FORUMS

Epcot is my favorite Disney park, I love travel and learning so it is the perfect combination for me. While the World Showcase is my favorite, Future World had a lot of stuff I also loved. In Future World the idea is that you visit pavilions to learn about things, from how food goes from farm to table, how energy is made and even how your imagination works.

My favorite was Wonders of Life, I absolutely loved Body Wars, riding the bikes through the virtual town, playing with the sensory poles and so forth. To me Wonders of Life was the coolest place in all of Epcot, and Body Wars was my favorite ride in there.

After 2007 the building fell into disuse and like many Disney landmarks was reused for something that was unrelated, and if you have visited for Food and Wine OR Flower and Garden you know this wonder is now home to cooking demonstrations, gardening demonstrations, as well as items you can purchase commemorating the event.

It’s interesting to walk through the building and see the original carpet, watching Robert Irvine cooking inside the Cranium Command theater and just a ways off the eerie shadows from where the virtual bikes stood and the sensory poles mean nothing now. To me this was the real hit I took, because I loved the beautiful golden dome tucked behind a wall of trees and even as a teenager I made it a priority to ride Body Wars.

8. Food Rocks aka Kitchen Kabarat 
Opened October 19, 1982; March 26, 1994
Closed January 3, 2004


Food Rocks as seen in the 90s at the Land, note the awesome original Land logo and that stunning carpet. PHOTO FROM FLICKR

Before Soarin came to Florida all the way from Sunny California, there was a pantry rocking in the space. I don’t actually remember Kitchen Kabarat but I remember Food Rocks and remember the silly little nutrition show from the tough guy bad for you metal band, the fun little candy bar gal singers, and so forth.

While I didn’t go to Food Rocks often, I did make a trip to see it once in my teens prior to it closing in 2004. Food Rocks was quirky and part of the original Epcot that many recall, but I am not too torn up about this one because Soarin is pretty awesome.

Currently Soarin is down for it’s own work up and a change to the film shown during the ride as well as the addition of another theater to accommodate the large crowds it draws.

7. Snow White’s Scary Adventures 
Opening October 1, 1971
Closed May 31, 2012


The queue as it was for many years during the 90s and 2000s. PHOTO FROM DISNEY PAL

One of the original Magic Kingdom rides, and it was probably one of the rides that terrified my mother the most in 1976 during her first visit to the park. While the ride had an overhaul by the time I rode it as a child, it is one of those classics that will always remain with you.

While I am not hurt that the ride closed, because I love Mine Train, I miss it because of the kitsch factor. Snow White was a staple in Fantasyland and was a bit terrifying, granted by the time I rode it for the last time at 21 it was just bad day-glow paint and outdated audio animatronics.

The reason it makes my list? It reminds me being a kid and going to the park with my family and taking my abuela to show her all the things I thought were cool.

6. Tarzan Rocks!
Opening July 9, 1999
Closed January 21, 2006

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The monkeys totally shredding during Tarzan Rocks! PHOTO FROM SCREAM MACHINE

Like Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom was still missing things when it opened in 1998. Camp Minnie Mickey was placed as a holder when the park opened and the original concept of Beastly Kingdom never was. Along with Camp Minnie Mickey came Tarzan Rocks! which was the epitome of 90’s cool (Anyone remember Brink?).

The show which told the story of the movie, set to the original soundtrack brought the jungle to life with X-Games style tricks. The show was fairly popular with kids and adults and brought the movie to life in a way many could appreciate.

I remember always seeing Tarzan when we were there, sitting with an ice cream watching these guys on skates performing tricks and watching in awe as Jane and Tarzan swung across the stage and he skated and did tricks.

Looking back on it now, it was kind of strange but for 9 year old me, it was amazing. The show was replaced by Finding Nemo the Musical which according to my mom is kind of boring and I kind of have to agree.

5. River Country
Opened June 20, 1976
Closed November 2, 2001


River Country in the 70s, it’s hard to find any shots from the 90s but it really was an old swimmin’ hole. PHOTO FROM GROWN UP DISNEY KID TUMBLR

Before you could conquer Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach or ride the water coaster at Typhoon Lagoon, there was River Country. River Country was opened as the first water park on property and part of the expanding Walt Disney World Resort. The water park which used water from the man made Bay Lake located feet away.

River Country was supposed to mimic an old time Southern swimming hole, and had not only slides but also a swinging pole and a zip line into the water. I only visited River Country once in 1997 and never set foot in the water, due to a thunder storm that swept the area.

I recall trying to wait it out but it never stopped raining, my mom and I eventually packed it up and went back to our hotel. River Country isn’t significant because of that event, to me is the mythos of the abandoned park. Unlike many structures like the drained and later filled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea lagoon in Fantasyland that was destroyed, River Country has been left to rot in the Florida sun. The park is still in it’s original location, but unlike in 1997 it has become an eerie site of forgotten memories and gross green water.

But along with the eerie abandoned park, there is the fact that no one ever got a straight answer as to why the park closed. Many assume it was due to the rise in amoebas in Florida lakes and a few incidents with said amoebas, but Disney said it was about the cost along with their 2 other water parks, in the end it doesn’t matter because River Country closed and was never opened again.

Many folks have gone behind the gate and trespassed through the park to photograph or take videos of the long forgotten park, and Google Earth for those of us who aren’t as brave provides a great view of the park in it’s current state.

4. Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Festival of Fools
Opened June 21, 1996 (film opening day)
Closed September 28, 2002


The show once adorned the vintage park maps, back when Star Wars wasn’t king. PHOTO FROM FLICKR RIVER 


I grew up during the height of the Disney Renaissance, I have a large collection of VHS and toys from that era. During the Renaissance Disney released what many would consider some of their best animated films, which was reflected in the parks in their stage shows and parades. A Festival of Fools was one of these shows, to the point that the large carnival scene with confetti was part of the promotions for the vacation kingdom.

Like many young kids in the 90s, Disney films were everything and my parents would take me to the movies to see them, buy me the VHS and usually my costume along with my school supplies was whatever movie was playing that year. Hunchback was one of those films, I loved the colors and Esmeralda was so cool. Besides Pocahontas she was the only Disney girl who looked like, tan skin and dark hair so I was hooked. I will say this I am still waiting for a Latina princess, it would be nice to see the representation but that’s a story for another day.

When I went to Disney that year and Festival of Fools was playing I couldn’t be more excited, here was a live version with the actual characters on stage. This was a large production with many players, toe tapping music and of course bright colors. It brought the movie to life in the most amazing way and to any 6-year-old the colors alone were enough to keep me glued, but seeing my hero Esmeralda was the icing on the cake.

Disney hasn’t quite produced a show like this in years, and unfortunately they seem to be a thing of the past. With kids more connected than ever, many of these stage shows I grew up with are slowly disappearing or being adapted to be more for the kids of New Disney.

3. Doug Live!
Opened March 15, 1999
Closed May 12, 2001


Doug LIVE! Marquee outside of the ABC Theater during its run. PHOTO FROM TV TROPES

Sometime in the mid-90s Disney acquired Doug from Nickelodeon and the cartoon came to life on stage at Disney’s MGM Studios. The ABC Theater which up until recently held The American Idol Experience, has played host to plenty in it’s time in the park but Doug Live! was one of my favorites.

Doug was a huge part of my childhood and like Hunchback it was my favorite characters brought to life even down to Doug’s white shirt. The show featured a segment with The Beets Doug’s favorite band, and they would select an audience member to come up and play a part in the band my mom was one of the people selected. I remember thinking it was so cool that my mom got to be in the show that she was up on stage with Doug.

Oddly this show while short-lived served as one of my better childhood memories because of that little thing and thats the beauty of Disney magic.

2. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Opened October 14, 1971
Closed September 5, 1994


Probably the coolest thing I never got to see the Nautilus at 20k, still wish I got to ride or see one in person growing up. PHOTO FROM ORLANDO PARK NEWS

I will preface this by saying, I never set foot on this ride, I was probably too small to ride before it closed and from what my family tells me this ride was always down. Like River Country it has become an obsession with the Mythos of the ride and the vastness of it, the ride area has disappeared today because let’s face it who needs a giant lagoon and show building taking up space?

I can remember that the ride had shut down and during the 90s it became home of the Character Festival which used the queue and the show building as a photo backdrop. Eventually the building was torn down and it was used to meet Ariel in her grotto. I spent a lot of my College Program with Ariel and I remember walking the catwalk to her grotto and  for me it was a major nerd fest knowing that the catwalk was once apart of the ride I never got to enjoy as a kid. The obsession is so bad that back in 1999 I wrote a letter to the Walt Disney Company asking for them to remake the ride because of my obsession with this ride.

Why was I so obsessed? My dad used to tell the story about how the squid at the end scared him to the point of tears, and I as a very imaginative youngster thought it was real and was wondering how a squid could be kept in a cave at Disney World.

Obviously as  I got older I began to realize that wasn’t the case, but a case of a realistic audio animatronics that had a scaled down Nautilus in it’s grips. I never saw the actual ride, but thanks to YouTube I have gotten to watch old family videos and have gotten to enjoy what was once.

While Walt Disney World does not plan to make another 20,000 Leagues, Disneyland currently has a Finding Nemo version that is the same concept and Japan has a water free one that is filled with new technology, so maybe one day?

1. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Opened October 1, 1971
Closed September 7, 1998


Mr. Toad’s Marquee, I remember it had purple and Fantasyland was still a crazy pastel nightmare. I think in the 90s it was changed from this Marquee but this one I have seen in my mother’s photos. PHOTO FROM JIM HILL MEDIA

Mr. Toad’s still exists, just not on my side of the country unfortunately. I LOVED this ride and when I say I LOVED I mean I would make my family stand in line for hours just to ride it.

For me Mr. Toad’s was so cool and when you’re little and aren’t tall enough for Space Mountain this is just the thing to do it for you, it had bursts of speed, darkness, loud noises I mean it was just a fun ride.

I also loved this ride because my Abuela would go on it with me, she was always more than willing to stand in line for however long and enjoy the ride with me. I think it was such a hard blow because I was 8 and I was just starting to get into thrill rides, I think when I was 11 I rode my first upside down coaster at Sea World.

I can’t say I recall too many details, save for the part where the train tries to run you off the road and the light blinding you but I remember it had a steering wheel and I loved to pretend to drive recklessly and making my Abuela laugh at me.

Apparently the ride ended in like a hell scene? I can’t say I recall that but hey why not, can’t be all sunshine and rainbows right?

So for me this was the hardest blow, it was also around the same year I started realizing so much stuff was changing and I was so upset it was happening.

I guess I’ll have to go to Disneyland to enjoy Mr. Toad, and I hope to have the chance eventually. Mr. Toad’s today is Winnie the Pooh’s and I can’t say I hate it but it’s not something I am too crazy about, I still ride it though just to see the small homage to Mr. Toad. You can also catch a glimpse of Mr. Toad over in the cemetery at Haunted Mansion, he’s all the way in the back and to the left, say hi to him before you go!

That’s it, that’s my list of things that have changed and now with the continued changes coming in the next 5 or so years, I am starting to realize the parks I knew are no longer those parks but something else.

I will say this, I have a huge issue with the lack of an off season and Disney is getting a bit out of control with some of these races, festivals and what nots because it is making it hard for guests who are loyal and dedicated passholders to come when they can’t even get an on property room.

So with that said, sound off tell me what you miss, what you wish wasn’t the way it was or the things you are excited for!

If you have any suggestions, comments or concerns let me know, I’ll gladly share what  I can!

Navigating your first REAL job loss

I have had a lot of jobs and I have worn a lot of hats in my short time working, at age 18 I took my first real job as a Photopass Photographer at Walt Disney World during their College Program, from there it was cruise lines, airlines, even a photographer at Fenway park.

I’ve never been fired, I have always self terminated my jobs because sometimes they just weren’t a good fit for me or I had to move on somewhere else… I’d never been let go, till the fall of 2015.

I got my first real reporting job in July of 2015, I was a bright eyed bushy tailed community news reporter, in short I loved my job. I got to work from home, I was able to set my hours and I got to experience all these fun community events and mingle with people. Then in late November I get a call from my Editor in Chief, I knew it was coming though I could feel it in the air.

That’s the thing about getting laid off, you can kind of sense it coming, the air changes your work relationships change, and in my case? I got assigned less and less till it happened, and it’s a hard blow.

At first you don’t know what to do, I felt like it wasn’t real I was driving home after signing my termination, we were going to Thanksgiving dinner the next day and I just didn’t know what to feel. About a week after that I was crying about my boyfriend forgetting to buy a pizza for dinner, my emotions were everywhere I would get mad, I would get sad, I would laugh because it just couldn’t be happening.

We never think it’ll happen to us, we never think we’ll get pink slipped and for many we won’t because we have secure jobs but I took a risk, in a waning economy I wanted to be a news reporter I wanted to go out there with my notepad and report the news like many before me. That’s the thing about me, despite the piling school debt I am determined and I knew what I wanted to do, I wanted to be Lois Lane, I wanted to be the news reporter. So how did I get through it? Months and months without anything and then suddenly I was working in a small beach town 2 hours from my hometown and finally feeling like I was in control of my life.

1. Don’t Panic!

Yes I know, easier said than done but you have to hit the brakes and take a breath. I kept panicking about my situation and losing sleep, eating too much and gaining MORE weight, I kept pacing and feeling like I was falling apart.

It’s so hard to accept you lost your dream job, I know that, but if you keep breathing it makes it easier. I found that what helped me was writing, I would sit and just write and write, I took up more hobbies like knitting and taught myself a new skill, I started sewing more, it was just anything to clear my head of this misery.

I also found that if I was going to hunt for jobs, I would only spend an hour or several small bursts because I would feel so discouraged doing it. I would get so sad when I would apply and hear nothing back, but when I did and then nothing again I would just feel hopeless.

It’s so important to practice self care when it happens, you need to be willing to set time aside to job hunt but also do other things to remove that feeling of drowning. I spent so much time alone and just trying to shake the feeling, I should have turned to friends, family or my boyfriend and that’s the most important thing to remember.

2. Take another job 

Your severance package won’t last forever, they run out and bills will pile up. I have a lot of customer service skills so I was applying to jobs where I could use my previous skills anything with customer service or even photography. I got lucky I found a job taking photos at a legacy railroad and I was able to pull in some cash, because I wasn’t going to sit by.

I also with caution say to find a temp agency, I had a massive issue with a temp agency back when I was still between jobs but if it’s only between finding a permanent job, I think it’s alright just read the fine print.

Just whatever you do, don’t sit at home and mope keeping your skills fresh is important and vital to bounce back.

3. It takes time

While it may happen over night, chances are you may be unemployed for a bit of time, and it’s important to be patient.

When you become impatient all you do is hurt yourself, like I said self care is of the utmost important and if you’re feeling stressed on top of feeling sad you’ll end up destroying yourself and getting to a job interview like that will ruin you completely.

It also shows through when you’re nervous or feeling like you’re a failure, so just take it one day at a time and remember to breathe as much as you can.

It can be easier said than done, but it is possible. The main thing is patience, just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and finding a job after losing your first dream job can seem impossible.

As for me?

I took a job in Southwest FL, I work at a daily and I continue to push because I am still in the infancy stages of this whole journey. Like anything in life it’s about learning and I continue to learn every day I get to work and set to work writing about my local town.

Just remember it isn’t the end of the world, it’s just the beginning especially if you’re in your 20s like me and still have so much to do. Just remember there are people who love you and will support you through all this and never be afraid to ask for advice or help, but continue to work hard it’ll be well worth it in the end.

30 Years Later and ‘Star Wars’ is Geek Fashion

When Star Wars hit theaters in 1977 it brought with it a new look at Sci-Fi, prior to its arrival Star Trek ruled the small screen. But something about Star Wars was different, it was a Space Opera and after that America was hooked.

With it came toys, action figures, bed sheets, lunch boxes, whatever you could plaster Luke Skywalker’s face on you would find it. Back in 77 and in the subsequent years after, you wouldn’t find any traditionally “girly” toys or clothing. Sure you could steal your brother’s blaster OR better yet his clothing, but it wasn’t yours.


1977 Princess Leia Organa Action Figure from Toy Hall of Fame

While I discovered Her Universe back in 2013, when I bought my first Doctor Who leggings the company which is owned by Ashley Eckstein the voice of Ahsoka in Star Wars: Rebels & Clone Wars  brings to the table looks that are strictly girl.

From leggings to hairpins, Eckstein’s company has paved the way for others to do the same and provide girls with plenty of cute looks. It was around this time I started noticing more and more products for girls hitting store shelves.


Her Universe Rouge Squadron Dress models by Eckstein for Her Universe (Image belongs to Her Universe) 

The thing with Her Universe unlike many other companies is the fact that the products are also come in Plus Size and in the last year items have been sold at Torrid, especially the new Force Awakens line.

This inclusion is also important to note as well, because girls of all sizes and shape can now participate in being geeky and stylish.

I gush about Her Universe a lot because for the first time in my life I found clothes that was girly and fit the kind of image I like to perceive. It also helps that the items from the different lines are available not only from the main site but can be found online and even at places like Hot Topic and are easily accessible.

Though in 2 years and the resurgence of Star Wars items are popping up all over the place from Target to Macys, girls both young and old have choices. Lines like Rock and Republic (found at Kohls) and even JcPenneys has what they have dubbed a “New Generation” of Star Wars items which includes items for women in stylish cuts and designs.


Rock and Republic Star Wars Cold Shoulder Sweater from Kohls (Image belongs to Rock and Republic for Kohls)

What was once not accessible to women before has now been dubbed Geek Fashion and racks are suddenly overflowing with skater dresses and leggings as well handbags, cosmetic bags and even funky heels.

You can’t escape the products being marketed at women and at young girls, suddenly “Star Wars” is pink and shiny with rhinestones and is attracting both the non-geek and the geek gal.

When you look at it like that, you’re attracting more fans and attracting women who may have never been interested in the fandom before or even interested in “geeky” things.

While it took 30 years to include women from the fashion aspect, many fans have been crafting for a long time both hand painted and sewn the designs have been around for a long time.

Next we’ll take a look at the high-fashion take over on the runways.

12 Days of Giving Back Day 6

It’s no secret I love books, I have a shelf overflowing with my favorite books and graphic novels. I frequent libraries like it’s my job and you can even find me on goodreads.

One of my favorite companies is Out of Print, which creates bags, shirts and other items with famous book covers and even redacted passages from banned books. The products which are sold online can also be found in book shops and speciality shops throughout the U.S.


But outside of the fact that Out of Print is super cute and has great items for everyone on your list, they also give back. Out of Print donates a book to Books for Africa and to those who don’t have access to books.

Through purchases on their website, you provide a book to a variety of school children in Africa and help establish a higher literacy rate in the country. 0cf9b0a

Though many have seen their shirts and jackets, Out of Print also has great bags, socks, and now even women’s leggings. These items can be purchased at local shops or on their website located here.


12 Days of Giving Back Day 5

Warby Parker, like Toms is another well known one for one company which provide glasses and eye exams for those in need.

This company is one of those I have no idea how I came to learn about it but I wear my glasses with pride. While Warby is a bit more expensive, they do offer non-perscirption sunglasses for those of looking to give a good gift.


As mentioned the glasses are pricey, but they provide a unique style and if you’re looking for something a bit more funky they are the perfect company.

The concept is simple in that you buy a pair and they provide a pair to someone else in the world who needs it. To date the company has provided over 500,000 glasses for those in need, and continues to provide to those who need it.

While they do provide nonprescription glasses, if you’re looking for a gift for yourself their home try on program gives you the option to shop around and for around $95 you can get a pair of stylish glasses for yourself or maybe your a child.

Unlike some of the other companies, Warby is straight forward and provide exactly what they advertise chic glasses which give back. To shop for others or yourself go here.


12 Days of Giving Back Day 3

This is the third installment in the 12 days of giving back series, and probably one of the best known one for one companies is Toms.


I got my first pair of Toms in 2009 and have since bought two more pairs which I wore to work at one point because of the company. The California based company had started with shoes, has since expanded to include boots, sneakers, glasses, clothing, accessories and coffee.

Toms started with just donating shoes to children in developing countries, but has added to providing vision exams to kids who need it and with a purchase of their coffee they provide clean water to those who need it.

The great thing about Toms is just that, if you don’t know someone’s shoe size, you can get them glasses or even just a pack of coffee which is available at Whole Foods.

Though Toms now also offers marketplace, which features other companies who also give back. The marketplace has everything from bags to blankets, so there are plenty of gifts to give that give back.


Climbing a mountain in Spain with my Gray Classics in 2011

But alas, Toms does shoes and they are some of he most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. They are also great for those of us who refuse to wear sneakers or socks for that matter.

To shop Toms and their variety of items along with their marketplace go here .

12 Days of Giving Back Day 2

Today I am excited to share a new company, but one that works with yesterday’s company The Elephant Pants. Hmong Hill which sells tribal bags and jewelry is a new company, which donates $4 of every purchase to schools.

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Currently Hmong Hill is donating to 3 schools in Africa, and has partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). Through the partnership AWF helps to build or rebuild schools throughout Africa in order to establish conservation education.

Like The Elephant Pants, the bags are made in Thailand and the fabric is woven by their namesake the Hmong Hill tribe who create the unique woven fabric.

Currently Hmong Hill is running a special and for every bag you buy, they’ll include a pair of The Elephant Pants standard pants. Both companies are trying to change the outlook of our world through education and conversation. But their slogan says it all “Bright Bags. Brighter Minds.”

Check out Hmong Hill here and follow them across social media for updates about their bags.

12 Days of Giving Back Day 1

It’s only fitting I start my gift giving post on Giving Tuesday, I wanted to share 12 companies who not only produce stylish and unique gifts but also companies who give back.

While I was in no way endorsed to share this, I do feel passionate about these brands and what they do for not only the U.S. based community but around the world.

This Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, whatever you may or may not celebrate I urge you to either shop small, DIY or support a company who gives back.

Day 1 is dedicated to one of my absolute favorite brands and one that I actually am an ambassador for The Elephant Pants.


This awesome Brooklyn, NY based company not only sells amazing harem pants, but also jewelry, tapestries, bags, rompers and shorts. $1 to $5 of all purchases go to the African Wildlife Foundation to prevent the poaching of elephants in Africa.

As of today (Dec 1) The Elephant Pants have given $190,000 in order to protect elephants in Africa and provide rangers resources to protect them.

I was introduced to the brand my by boyfriend’s sister and just fell in love with the cause and the look of the pants. While I only own 3 pairs, a scarf and a bracelet I feel passionate about the message and love the way the pants feel and look.


My first pair Tyke and my favorite book

Each pair tells the story of the elephant it is named after and provides better insight into what can occur to these creatures both in the circus world and in captivity.

The pants are created in Thailand where the company provides work for seamstresses and pays them not only above the standard wage but also provides healthcare and a safe work environment. The mission is to not only give back to the elephants and the African Wildlife Foundation but also to provide safe work environments for those who make the clothing.

The pants come both in standard and large, but the ultra stretch waistband provides plenty of room for anyone and the company even sells kid sizes. The standard are up to size 12 and the large fit up to size 16 with more room along the inner inseam.

The Elephant Pants, also provides sales throughout the year through their ambassadors and also provides small gifts and mystery boxes to their shoppers. The boxes which usually contain new pant designs as well unreleased gifts, sell out fast and have an extra surprise in them as a thank you.

To me it means a lot when a company goes out of their way to give back, but still provides a product people will wear and love. Each of the pants are unique and still look good no matter what you wear with them. It’s important to remember that we should not only be buying for ourselves but also to help others around us.

For more information about The Elephant Pants or to buy a pair and give back to AWF follow my personalized link  here  or just head to




Mr. Robot takes us for a ride in the end

In hopes you haven’t been living under a rock, the new USA series Mr Robot came to a close last night. A show that was renewed only hours after the episode aired, has gained a huge following online thanks to its engaging and sometimes confusing story line.

Mr. Robot deals with what is known as hacktivism, and takes viewers into the world of Elliot Alderson a Robin Hood of sorts. But there is more to Elliot who seems to be working under the mysterious Mr. Robot in FSociety trying to take down E Corp or Evil Corp as he refers to it.

Though through all this Elliot our narrator constantly breaks the fourth wall, and we like him don’t know what’s real or fake. While we take the ride with Elliot, Evil Corp is seemingly controlling and taking down everything he loves.

With the finale yesterday, and learning everything from previous episodes we feel even more confused than Elliot does. So where are we going in season 2?

Without spoiling anything, it seems that Elliot has unraveled and we’re suddenly in a tail spin. So what’s going to happen in season? With how they have left us, it seems Evil Corp has more secrets than anything we thought and Elliot has a long uphill battle figuring out what happened in the three days leading up to the finale.

So why does this show work? I think it appeals to the grassroots society we live in, how many of us would want to erase all of our debt? How many of us would love to see an end of being controlled by corporations?

This show appeals to generation Y and taking down our society, and we live in a time where Anonymous has gone across our screens and their takedowns using their form of hacktivism for last 10 years.

Elliot who is an underdog of sorts, who shows what can happen when things go south becomes an anti-hero. Rami Malek (Night at the Museum Need for Speed) plays Elliot, and his command of the character takes you into his dark and twisted world. Elliot represents the frustration many of us have in our own worlds, but are too afraid to even think of doing that.

Though the thing Malek brings to the character is his portrayal of mental illness, Elliot seems to have something wrong with him and as the episodes progress we find him unraveling. Malek commands the performance beautifully, and keeps you wanting more from him.

The rest of the cast specifically Mr Robot who is played by Christian Slater balances Malek’s own madness. Where Malek is almost emotionless in the character, Slater is an explosion of emotion and uncontrollable, but he provides the voice of reason for Malek throughout the season.

While I won’t reveal much else, and would suggest watching the series Mr. Robot  returns in 2016 on USA. While episodes can be streamed through cable service providers and USA should be playing reruns of the episodes.