Pura Vida

Hello everyone!

I know I posted photos on my Instagram (@lavidalisa_) during my spring break trip to Costa Rica, but I thought I would share what I did each day and some photos that didn’t make the grid!

Day One: On the first full day in Costa Rica, we went on an excursion. We went zip-lining through a rainforest in San Luis. This was my first time zip-lining or doing anything like this, so at first I was pretty anxious! However, I soon realized that I really enjoyed the adrenaline rush.  After returning from the excursion, we went back to the hostel I was staying in, ran some errands because we forgot a towel (rookie mistake, I know) and then enjoyed dinner in San Jose.

Jasmine and I in our zip lining outfits!

Day Two: Day two was much longer than we expected it to be! Our day started off around 7am when we got picked up for a full-day excursion. The first stop was in La Fortuna where we stopped for a short amount of time to see the largest Ox cart and see a beautiful church. We then drove about two hours or so to see one of the six active volcanoes in Costa Rica, volcano Arenal. This was an amazing view! It was so crazy to see smoke coming out of the top of the volcano and knowing that it is still active! The last time Arenal erupted was in 2010, so I tried not to think about that too much.

Largest Ox cart

Pastel Church in La Fortuna

Volcano Arenal

The next stop was Tabacon hot springs. These hot springs were so relaxing, and honestly, quite romantic! There were over 20 different hot springs you could go into and they were all fairly secluded so you could enjoy the spring with your small group (perfect for a few IG pictures). After the hot springs we had dinner at the hotel and headed back to San Jose.

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Some close ups

Day Three: This day we made an impulse decision to go to the coast one day early. The friend I as traveling with was leaving sooner than I was so we decided it was best to move on from San Jose. We took a two hour bus ride to Puntarenas and enjoyed the resort life! This was a nice change from the hostel to say the least. The first day we just walked along the beach and laid by the pool before going to dinner.

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Day Four: I will be honest, we did nothing more than lay by the pool, take IG pictures and enjoy a few cocktails this day. 🙂

Sunset Pics

Day Five: We spent the first part of the day at the resort in Puntarenas and then headed back to San Jose. Once we got back to San Jose, we went for a coffee and a late lunch before my friend had to head back to the states!

Day Six: This was one of my favorite days on the trip. Whenever I travel, I really try to do at least a day on my own. I decided to go to the National Museum of Costa Rica which was about a 25 minute walk from the hostel (I only had a printed map and found my way!). After spending some time there, I moved over to the market where I bought way too much but loved helping the local economy! Then I had my last traditional Costa Rican meal, went to the park and had some mango with hot sauce (so good, omg!) and went back to the hostel to finish up packing and to lay in a hammock before it was time to leave.

Spotted at the National Museum of Costa Rica

Overall, I had an amazing trip. There were some aspects that I wish I would have planned better, but I am the type of person that likes to go with whatever I am feeling that day. The other thing that I thoroughly enjoyed (and always do) was practicing my Spanish. I love going to a Spanish speaking country as a tourist and being able to communicate in their native language, sometimes there is some confusion but the locals always love it when people at least TRY to speak to them in their native tongue.

The Power of Sisterhood

This past week I spent four days with some of the most amazing women I have ever met. I got to hear their personal stories and their passions. Recently, I have been finding myself inspired more by people in real life who are relatable to me which it took me a long time to realize. I have been trying to make the people around me understand me, my interests and accept me. But being around all these women made me realize that other people don’t need to understand me and accept me; all that matters is that I accept myself.

I had been searching for a community and people who were like-minded and it took me traveling 1,840 miles to find it. I am truly blessed to be a part of the We All Grow Latina Network and I had no idea how much it would influence me. I thought I was joining this network to gain followers and to connect with brands, but attending the WAG Summit made me realize that it is so much more than that. It’s about empowering other Latinas and encouraging the growth of our community because we do matter, we can make a difference and we will change lives.

Being Latina is of course something that has always been part of me. For the first five years of my life, I only knew Spanish and only had been exposed to my Mexican culture. Once I moved to the suburbs, it changed my life forever. I can recall several times driving into our suburban neighborhood telling my parents to turn down the Spanish music. And I always remember them asking me why, and I would reply with “we’re in Plainfield now.” Even as a five year old, I was suppressing my background because I thought we had to be like all the other families in my neighborhood. 

I never realized until this weekend that I wasn’t embracing my background that I left behind in Cicero. Once I moved, I didn’t realize that I left the Latina part of me there. I now notice that the only time I feel like I embrace my background is either in Cicero, around my family or with other Latinos. I no longer want this to be the case; I want to be who I am all the time.

Joining the WAG Network has done that for me. In today’s society you can feel so connected to people all over the world. So even though I am apart from all those powerful, beautiful women; I still feel their passion everyday by seeing them post and write about their dreams. Going to the summit has inspired me to embrace my Latina side more than ever. I want to set an example for other Latinas and show them that we do matter, we are equal, and we will make a difference.

When one grows, we all grow.

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Top Three Items To Invest In

Hello! 

Thank you for visiting my site today! Things have been crazy these past couple of weeks with school, work and blogging. But I managed to squeeze in a post before my trip to Long Beach! 

Today’s post is about the top three wardrobe items that I like to invest the most in.

1. Jeans : Jeans are my daily go-to. I love dressing them up with a pair of heels for a night out or throwing on my sneakers for class. I have tried so many different brands of jeans and have never been more satisfied with my purchase of two different brands: Rag & Bone and Free People.

My R&B are definitely a bigger investment (~$130), but well worth it. I have had two pairs of jeans for two years (I wear them at least twice a week!) and I can honestly say they still feel as great as they did the first day I wore them. I got these at Nordstrom when they were price matching (all about them sales!)

R&B Jeans

R&B Jeans 2

The Free People jeans I have are a lot more trendy. The torn hem and rips in the knees give them an edgy look, but I am able to wear these in various ways. The reason why I like these is because they are good quality, unique, but definitely did not break the bank. They are a great midlevel investment (~$80). I bought these at a Free People store.

Free People Jeans dressed up

2. Purses : I think everyone needs a great bag for everyday use. Personally I found that a Neverfull fits my needs. I wanted a bag that is going to be functional for work and travel. Whenever I travel I without a doubt take my tote, it fits right under the seat of an airplane and holds everything I need for a road trip! 

I think purses should be a long term item. So if I’m going to buy one, I want to buy one that I can use years from know that will still suit my taste. My favorite going out purse is a Rebecca Minkoff spiked bag. Her style is the perfect level of spunk to make your outfit unique. Here is a similar bag. 

For sale purses I mainly go to Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. For luxury purses I either go to large department stores or the stand alone store.

Everyday use of my tote

3. Shoes : Trust me when I say that I have bought shoes that I have literally worn once, so now I don’t make that same mistake! Shoes are so important to your wardrobe. They can make or break your outfit (or your feet!) I worked retail for just few months and those few months made me realize that I need to wear comfortable shoes everyday. I typically buy my shoes on sale (unless I REALLY want/need them). I am at the point where I want to buy shoes that I will be able to wear various ways and have for awhile. I don’t like to buy seasonal shoes that I know will break before the summer is over—not worth it. My go-to stores to buy shoes are Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Von Maur

In this picture I am wearing Stuart Weitzman heels that I found at Rack for less than half the retail price! 

Stuart Sweitzman's for under $150 at Rack!

Via Spiga's for under $50 from RackIn this picture I’m wearing some Via Spiga booties that I got for less than $50 at Rack! 
I hope some of my tips help you figure out what your closet is missing!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Positive Vibes Only

Hello,

Recently I have been going through an internal argument with myself on who I should be surrounding myself with. I find that I am associating myself with people who I feel like no longer support me and judge me for the things I am passionate about.

When it comes to situations like this, I always turn to one of my close friends to talk it out. After reaching out to him about this topic he said to me that I need to surround myself with people who inspire me to be better, people who push me towards my dreams and that support me rather than judge me. Once we finished talking, I paused. I couldn’t believe that my friend who hasn’t even lived in the same state as me in over seven months supports me that much over the phone. He seems to be much more supportive than some friends that I’ve known throughout college, who I see me on a regular basis and see me put so much effort into my dreams.

After receiving this advice I have decided that I am going to do it. It is hard to face people constantly that will judge you no matter what you say to them. I am not going to try to please those friends anymore but solidify other friends who support my ambitions and radiate positive vibes.

My advice to those who are struggling with being accepted or are too afraid of what people will think of them is to let it go. Let go of worrying about what your “friends” might think of you or what image you might portray. I know its never as easy as it sounds but as long as you are happy, being true to yourself and your dreams that’s all that should matter.

I have started to try to let go of the negativity like trying to spend time exploring St. Louis and honestly narrowing down my dreams and focusing on myself. For awhile I was afraid that my dreams were too far fetched or was afraid to tell my friends what I aspire to be. But once I did, I realized who my true friends were. They were the ones that continued to push me towards my passion and asked me how I would achieve my dreams, and how my blog is going.

After coming to this realization of who does and does not believe in me, I have decided that it doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that I believe in myself.

For those of you who are out there still waiting to be accepted or understood by your friends, stop waiting. Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to chase your dreams.

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

 

My Go-To Eyeshadow Palettes

Hello,

I have had quite a few friends come to me recently and ask me about my favorite eyeshadow palettes so I decided to share with you all!

For my everyday look: Tarte palettes 

I love to use Tarte for my everyday look because they are so quick and easy to use! Between going to work two days a week and starting to get ready for class at the last possible second, I like to go with a very quick and simple look. The main reason why I like these palettes is because I  hardly have to spend anytime blending; I am so impatient when it comes to blending so using Tarte while I’m crunched for time really cuts time out of my routine. I am so sorry that I do not have the exact links to these palettes! I got them awhile ago but I have links to similar ones 🙂

Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow  and Tartelette Tease 

For going out and more “glam” looks: Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette and Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Like [almost] every college student, I like to go out with my friends and have a good time too! So for the nights that I have more time to get ready or just want to look a bit more “glam” I turn to this palette. I like this palette because it has a lot of fun colors to play with but also some more “safe” colors. I use this when a do a smokey eye with a pop of gold or blue. The lighter colors are also really good to use in the corner of your eye to make your eyes really pop. Unfortunately a lot of places no longer carry this, but I see it at Nordstrom Rack all the time!!

I have already posted about the Smoky palette but I just wanted to stress how great it is! I just gifted a few of these to some friends for Christmas who are just starting to get into makeup and they love them! There is enough variety in it so you don’t have to always do a dramatic eye if you don’t want to. It also has colors that go with every eye color, so you don’t have to worry about it not working out for you.

So there are my go-to palettes! Please continue to reach out to me with any questions you might have!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Changing it Up For 2017

Hello!

Today I decided to write about what 2017 has in store for me. A few things to look forward to…

  • working part time
  • finishing college
  • a trip to Los Angeles in March (it will be my first time to Cali!)
  • a trip to Costa Rica in March (spring break ya’ll!)
  • moving to Seattle to start my career (I have never even been to Washington!)

In addition to looking forward to all these exciting things I am going to have to balance a lot at once. However, this year I think I am more grounded and know what I want for myself and will be able to focus on those things.

The past year or so has been pretty crazy for me. In 2016 I had just come back from studying abroad and starting living with someone new, was trying to decide how I was going to keep my life exciting since I was back in the states and was trying to “find myself” again. I talked about starting a blog with a few friends thinking that I wanted to focus on fashion; but once I got started I realized that yes, fashion is one of my passions, but its not what I want to write about all the time.

Starting this year I want to write more about my passions, the exciting things going on in my life, and the things my friends ask me about.

So, I hope you’re in for the ride of La Vida Lisa because it is about to get a bit more spicy!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

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2016 Travels

Hello!

As some of you might know, traveling is one of my passions. Whether I’m going to a city I have already visited or going back for more, I am always inspired by the places I visit. So I thought I would wrap up this year with a blog post about the cities I explored this year!

The first trip I took this year was a road trip from St. Louis to Phoenix (nearly 1,460 miles!) with some girl friends for spring break. This was my second time to Phoenix, but this trip the focus was hiking and being outdoors. Here are a few pictures from my spring break trip!

The next trip I took was to New Jersey over Easter break. I spent the holiday with family and went into the city with my aunt for a day. I had a great time this trip because I got to spend a lot of time with family and got to go to the MoMA which has been on my list for years!

The next trip I took was during May. My best friend Kristina and I planned a two and a half week trip to Europe for our end of the school year celebration!

This was second time we traveled to Europe together and my third time total. I was able to visit four new cities: Warsaw, Munich, Coux-et-Bigaroque, and Amsterdam. Kristina has family in Warsaw so we started there, then we parted and I went to Munich and Paris, then we met in Coux-et-Bigaroque, then continued to Amsterdam!

The best parts about this trip were that I got to travel Europe alone which I really enjoyed, I got to see friends in Paris and in Amsterdam, and of course got to travel with my best friend! Check out some pictures!

In the fall I went to Las Vegas for my sister’s bachelorette. I had been to Vegas before for a wedding when I was much younger, so this was the first time I was able to really enjoy the true Vegas. The girls and I had a blast and I definitely want to go back already!

And for my final trip of the year I went to Playa Del Carmen for my sister’s wedding! The guests stayed at the same resort and we hung out everyday. One day we went snorkeling and another day we went to Quinta Avenida which is a well-known shopping street in Playa Del Carmen. Check out some pictures from the trip/wedding!

Words cannot describe the wedding day. I was crying the whole time (no shame!). It was beautiful and I was just so happy to see my sister and brother-in-law’s special day.

That sums up my 2016 travels! Thank you for checking out my post, traveling is truly one of my passions and I am always happy to share it with people. Can’t wait to see which cities 2017 brings!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie