2016 - Miles + Smiles







Love and take care of the skin you’re in

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Lights2ClearSkin #CollectiveBias

I have been using religiously the Neutrogena® Light Therapy Mask for a bit over a month now and wanted to give you guys an update on the treatment.

The weather in Minneapolis has been colder and colder. I just survived my first polar vortex in the Midwest so I guess it's a big milestone! Some of my friends here in Minneapolis have been having trouble with their skin and I truly thought I was going to have a tougher time since I'm not used to this. Make no mistake, your skin suffers so much in extreme temperatures if you don't take care of it.


Learning to do my own floral arrangements

Photography and Video by: Angel Torres

As the holidays get closer, I wanted to learn to do my own floral arrangements. I tried a couple of online tutorials but well, did not go quite as planned. So I started a quest because I really wanted to learn the right way! I found out that Field of Flowers in Florida have this cute little corner called The FlowerBar where they host private classes! BOOM! It was quite perfect since I was heading down there for Thanksgiving.

They have a variety of classes you can take, you can see their schedule here. I love that you can bring your own wine bottles and make it a date with your girls! Or you can even make it an event at work because they do host corporate parties as well! I went on a Saturday Morning and had the pleasure of having Martha as my teacher. We created this gorgeous piece, that of course you can adapt to more holiday like colors. I honestly chose this colors because they are my fave, but instead of the pink roses you could do red roses and instead of the purple flowers you can substitute it for greenery.


Brunching in Miami with Geneva Naturals

A week ago while I was in Miami visiting my hubby, I had the opportunity to have brunch with some of Miami’s best-known bloggers. It was an incredible day filled with fascinating conversations, lots of fun stories, and even some product sampling from Geneva Naturals. The event was held at DOA Cantina on South Beach (around 20th and Collins Ave), which apparently is a brand new spot which, features a mixture of Peruvian and Asian infused flavors. I cannot say this enough: the food was out-of-this-world amazing!


A Gift Guide for the Unconventional Guy in Your Life

Unique Watch

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches 
The holidays are almost here! and to be honest its a lot easier to get a gift for a woman than for a man. Probably because there are many options that are more obvious. But when it comes to finding cool gifts for that special man in your life you may be at a loss, because perhaps you don't know where to start. 

So if your man is anything like my hubby, loves technology and gadgets but has a very peculiar taste when it comes to gifts, here are the top 3 gifts for the unconventional man in your life.

The beautiful JORD Wood Watches. While a watch is always a great gift idea, this watch it’s a little extra special. This specific men’s watch is made out of Ebony and Rosewood woods, giving it those gorgeous tones. It’s also hand finished and penetrated with tung oils for preservation. While it is splash-proof is not to be dunk in water so make sure your man doesn’t go for a swim with it! 


Getting ready for a Minnesota winter

I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. #WinOverWinter #CollectiveBias

So I moved, again. Which means, yes, we are doing long distance once again, and this time as a married couple. This really sucks, but I will get to the details of the move in a later post. For now I want to talk about the new life I have! I took a job at Target Headquarters as a creative and I could not be more excited! The job required me to move to Minneapolis, MN. So a whole lot of preparation is happening and a Target run had to happen.

Sweater: Forever 21
Pants: Zaful
Sneakers: Gap

I know what you are all thinking: “OMG but it’s so cold there!” Going from Miami to Minneapolis is a huge change, and it’s not just the weather—it’s pretty much everything. I have been here for about a week and a half and the weather hasn’t been that bad. I’ve actually really enjoyed the nice change from the heat and humidity in Miami. It has been around 40 to 60 degrees and as sunny as it can be. While it has taken me a bit to get used to, I am pretty excited to have seasons again, to see the snow and to have a change overall.


Lace & Sangria for the perfect rehearsal dinner

Rehearsal dinners are a moment to bond with both your family and your significant other’s family and friends. If they have not met before (like our families did) then it could turn a bit awkward. So to add to that stress you have to plan for a place, the menu, whether you will have a fixed menu or each person gets to order what they want.

The one thing I can tell you is that you should be comfortable, whatever you choose to wear that night, while you want to feel cute and your best self, remember that the night will be hectic and you are there to enjoy it, not to be bothered by over complicated outfits. I wanted to be super comfy so I got this SammyDress white lace dress and Rose Wholesale short sandals that kept me going all night.


3 lessons for the right way to approach flowers

Photo: BlueSpark Photography
I was going to write a long, lengthy post about the wedding but I figured it was better to break it down into sections. Perhaps that way I could make it a bit more digestible and easier to use as a reference for you guys.
In this post, we will take a dive into the beautiful world of flowers! Possibly my favorite topic in all of my wedding planning since I am truly obsessed with flowers- if you follow my Instagram you know. I think I’ve basically been planning my wedding on Pinterest for the last 5 years! So yes, way before I even got engaged my entire wedding was pretty much laid out on my “wedding” board and flowers were a big chunk of all the pins. 

My favorite flowers are peonies but unfortunately, fall was not necessarily the best season for them. So that was my first lesson: If you want to keep costs down, get flowers that are in season. I could have ordered them (and yes your florist will find them) but they were going to be 4 times their regular price. I love them, but not that much. So I started thinking what is it that I love about peonies? Is it the colors, the texture, the size? After a bit of soul-searching, I figured my favorite thing about them was their texture and how dimensional they are. So I worked with my florist and we found some options to choose from.


Why we chose a small honeymoon

Sunglasses: Zaful
Bathing suit: Mirror Me
I’m back! It’s been a month since my last post, but I had to take a small break to focus on the big day, and it was totally worth it! That day was everything we dreamed of! I won’t elaborate on it now, but I promise I will make a blog post about it, ups and downs and all that good stuff.

For now I want to talk to you about the honeymoon. I had heard a lot of things regarding the honeymoon and we’re raised with many ideas of how it’s supposed to go, right? I won’t lie, my now-hubby and I had a couple of big fights regarding the honeymoon destination, because, yes, I wanted the big, all-out honeymoon that the movies and stories had planted in my head. I wanted to go to Hawaii. I wanted the romantic sunsets, the champagne, and the beautiful exotic beaches. But when the reality of our finances kicked in, well… hubby was right.


The Glossary for the Bilingual Bride

Oh, to be bilingual! The joy of having two languages in your mind at all times and simultaneously alternating from one to the other without even flinching. We have been blessed with this great gift but when it comes to a formal affair, it feels a bit like a curse! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn't change this for the world but I have had such a hard time creating a bilingual wedding.

Our wedding is a couple of days away, but I’ve had the intention to write this for a while since I lived through this experience. This guide might be helpful to future bilingual brides. This time of celebration will also be a time of reuniting family from Colombia whom we have not seen in over 15 years. There is a lot of pressure to make them feel comfortable since it's an environment they have never been to, however, we also have a big part of the invitees that live or are from the United States. So, basically everything has to be in both languages (thank God we live in Miami and having a bilingual ceremony is an option!).


Staying safe while online shopping for the big day!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of CHASE. The opinions and text are all mine. 

One of the biggest things to stress about while planning a wedding is money. Sadly, a day that special relies heavily on some sort of a budget. Whether big or small, this day is tied to a number.

As you all know by now, my fiance’ and I decided to get married this Fall and we actually wanted to! Not only because we have a lot going on in the first half of the year (family birthdays, anniversaries, etc), but also because we think it’s one of the best seasons. Our venue had an AMAZING off-season rate and that was the reason we decided to book Villa Woodbine. The house is incredible and they take care of absolutely everything from catering to valet. They even provide a beautiful clear tent with A/C, which in Miami is an absolute steal!


Must-haves to feel your very best

I’m very happy and excited to partner up with Dove to bring to you my must-haves to feel my very best everyday. While a big part of feeling your best is your confidence, some beauty or personal care products can help the cause, and we all like to have that little “umph” to take us to the next level of confidence!

I have a very simple daily beauty routine because, well, I have a full-time job. Each thing that I decide to include in it has to have a very specific purpose, and I must be able to count on it to work all day long. From my makeup to my personal care products I always make sure to use the best, and by best I don’t mean expensive. You guys already know that I don’t do expensive and even more so now that my wedding is around the corner.


Miles + Smiles turns one! Cheers!

How crazy it is that its been a whole year since I began my blog?! From the very bottom of my heart I want to thank each one of you, my readers, for coming with me on this journey.

A lot has happened this year. Now, a month away from tying the knot, I reflect back to all the big and small moments that made me start Miles + Smiles. So you all know, Miles + Smiles started because I simply needed an outlet to vent; a way to deal with my long distance relationship. But, then the blog grew and eventually, my fiancée and I were able to close the distance. A lot of people continued to ask: Ok, so now what is the blog going to be about? Are you going to change the name? At the beginning, my answer was a simple “I don’t know” -- I wanted to let the blog evolve into whatever it needed to be.


8 Steps to a Back-to-School-Proof Makeup Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #essenceatTarget #essenceEssentials #CollectiveBias

While I am not in school anymore, (or at least for now, because I do plan to go back at some point) I know many of you are still in college, or even high school. I’ve partnered up with essence cosmetics at Target to share with you my everyday look and inspire you to get a fresh and easy look for back-to-school.

As you know, I’m no beauty expert, but I want to share what’s working for me and that I think will benefit you. My go-to place for most of my makeup is Target. Not only am I obsessed with the store, but it gives me a one-stop place to get everything I need, from home needs and wedding decor, to cute outfits and, well, beauty. I am not a huge fan of the super expensive makeup. While I get why some people buy it, I am pinching pennies for my wedding and am honestly not ready to give up my money on just makeup. So when I heard about essence cosmetics I decided to give them a try.


Miami Two Ways with Zaful

I’ve been in Miami for over three months now. I don’t think that it has sunken in that I, in fact, do live here. Between work, the blog, and wedding planning, I don’t think I have enjoyed Miami as I should. After all, I live only five minutes away from the beach.

What a lot of people don’t know is that Miami is not just South Beach. In fact, Miami Beach is a whole different city. The real Miami is on the west side of the bridge. You can go as tropical as you want in Calle 8, or as hipster as you can imagine in Wynwood. I don’t think that I can pinpoint what my style is when it comes to clothing, it’s really more about how I feel that day. Maybe one day I want to wear heels and be super girly, but another day I just want to lay back in a comfy pair of joggers and a crop top. What I do know is that I love to be comfortable. I've been able to find key pieces for my wardrobe that allow me to dress up without losing the comfort that I love - what they call “casual comfy chic”.

I hate to go to malls. It's probably one of the worst things that can happen to me, and if I go it’s because I really have to. I would rather do all of my shopping online. One of my go-to sites is Zaful. They have cute and affordable pieces that compliment whatever mood I'm in.


Finding the perfect bridal accessory

As the wedding gets closer and errands seem to multiply by the minute, I'm very relieved to have one less thing on my bride-to-be to-do list!

You guys may already know that our big day is about a month and a half away and I just cannot wait! We are having a traditional Catholic Church ceremony because it was important to us to have God’s blessing, and also because faith has become a big part of our lives together.

We already have most of the tasks done but we have a good chunk to go as well. One of the things that I was completely lost about was the veil. Some people may think it old school or traditional to have a veil, but I truly believe that it is the one piece that makes a bride. Not only the meaning behind it, but who doesn’t like fluffy tulle around them on the day they feel like a princess?!

My quest began a few months ago and I had no idea of the many different fabrics, colors, and shapes there were JUST for your veil. I really didn’t know what I wanted so since I already had my dress, it was the dress that chose the veil.
I found a company called ZVeil that has a try-at-home program which was just perfect! I didn't purchase the dress with the veil because of budget restrictions, plus I really just wanted to see what else was out there. I'm glad I did because I found the perfect veil to complement my gorgeous gown and I was able to do it from my comfy couch.


The decision that can save lives

This past 4th of July I was able to spend some time with my family and I was reminded how much they mean in my life. Because of them and my future family I joined the #PuedeEsperar campaign by AT&T.

A few years back I took the decision that no text message was that important to see it when I am driving. I have also encouraged my friends and family to do the same, and it honestly irritates me when I see someone driving and their eyes are on their phone. It is important that with all the apps and technology now a days, we set our selves limits on when and how to use them. In all honestly when you think about it, is that photo, meme, text, voice note, or what ever it may be really important that you see it in that moment?


The car that helped us breeze through wedding errands

I never thought in a million years that a wedding had so many tiny details that had to be addressed. But my favorite so far has been tastings, because well I do love me some yummy food and deserts!

I partner up with Mazda to test drive their CX-3 and we got lots of errands done while driving it around Miami. It was great since it is so spacious; we were able to get decoration stuff for the wedding. We also got to drive to do our cake tasting and it was delightful!. It is no secret that people in Miami drive like they are insane, and the concept of turning signal just does not exist. So I really enjoyed that this car has very useful safety features. My favorite one is the one blind spot detector, it automatically beeps when you have a turning signal on and someone is on the blind spot. I sure found it very useful a couple of times in this madness and I am positive this feature has avoided a lot of accidents.


What's in my gym bag?

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Always and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Yoga has been amazing! There was one small set back over the weekend –my fiancé and I had food poisoning. Yeah, no fun.

Up until then, I was able to do one full class and three mini-classes of the Gaia everyday series. Since I am recently getting started and some of you have shared with me that you are on board for this fitness journey, I wanted to share what I carry in my gym bag that keeps me motivated and feeling comfortable and fresh while I work out.

Since I’m always on the go, jumping from wedding, to yoga, to work, to blog; being perfectly prepped is a big deal for me. One of the things I know I have under control is using Always Sheer Dailies and the Always Feminine Wipes. The liners are so thin, you can barely feel them! Because of yoga, this is one of the main things I keep in mind when I choose what to wear while I work out. Many of the yoga poses can be tricky and these liners have absolutely kept up with them! I love that the wipes are are individually wrapped so I can slip a couple in my gym bag without bringing the entire pack.


Finding my way back to yoga, no excuses!

It’s been a very stressful couple of months. Not only being back in Miami, but planning a wedding and adjusting to living with my fiancée again has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I stopped going to yoga about a month before I moved from Austin, only because there were a lot of pieces that needed to come together to make the move possible.

Which means, I have not been exercising at all! I am blessed with a high metabolism and I do not gain much weight. However, this is not about losing weight, but more about how I feel about myself. Living back in Miami has been good, but I miss the sense of tranquility Austin gave me. Recently, I took a trip to Austin and I realized that that peace has to come from within and not a place. I remembered that during my best moments in Austin, I was going to yoga regularly.

So, here I am getting back to it.

Celebrating my 30th birthday like a 30 year old should

My fiancé and I were born in the same week. As a matter of fact, we were born one day apart (and one year), so we always make a week out if it and use our birthdays as a legit excuse to get away from everything.

As I mentioned to you all before, we developed a tradition of traveling for our birthdays. This year, since we are getting married and we need to save some money, we decided to stay here in Miami and celebrate with our closest friends.

My fiancé’s family – and my future family –gifted us a spa day at Enliven, the JW Marriot Miami’s spa. In case you are ever in Miami and want to have an amazing, relaxing day, check out my review.

Humidity vs. Hairstyling

Moving to Miami brought a lot of changes – from food, to friends, to traffic and, of course, weather! Austin’s climate is fairly good: sure, in the summer it was literally an oven, but the rest of the year was pretty manageable with enough variety to appreciate the seasons.

Now that I live in Miami fulltime, there are no seasons. This means humidity about 10 out of 12 months of the year. Although my hair has always been straight, it is not immune to the horrible, horrible level of humidity that southern Florida can bring upon you.

About four months ago, I went in for a haircut and got the infamous “lob”. Honestly, it has been the best decision in my life! Not only do I have less hair I have to deal with, but it is so much more manageable in the Miami weather. Thanks to the amazing work that Jen and Jeana at Propaganda (in Austin), always do, I have a simple routine when I want to style it.


How to keep your wedding guest on their feet all night long!

As wedding planning keeps progressing, one of the things that my fiancé and I have “struggled’ with is how to host the perfect night and entertain guests while keeping this wedding about our personalities. Because, well yeah, it’s OUR wedding after all!

Music is such an important part of the celebration. We don't have a huge group of people attending but mostly are coming from Colombia. Our wedding will be a melting pot of cultures: from Cali girls, to family and friends from Bogotá, to Dominican guys, and even some Venezuelans sprinkled in. Don’t get me wrong, I love having friends and family from different backgrounds, cities, etc. but narrowing down the song list for the night can be challenging since we want everyone to have fun.  And not only music is important, but comfy shoes are key to create an awesome vibe.

Not to mention, weirdos like me who are from Colombia, but well, don’t necessarily enjoy Colombian music all night long… so yeah it gets tricky. As a Latina who partially grew up in the states I became very acculturated. But, I do have hints of my Colombian heritage and I enjoy a vallenato here and there. Plus, weddings in Colombia last all night into the early morning. So you can see why this is important to me!


Taking the time to enjoy being engaged

Now that I am almost settled in my new home, it is time to do wedding talk! What a better time to do it than at the sobremesa? If you have never heard this word, in Spanish it means the time you spend at the dinner table after a meal just talking, sipping on some coffee, and making great memories.

My fiancé’s and my life have been nuts the last couple of months so it is nice to take a second for us, take a deep breath, sip on some Nescafé coffee and just start diving step by step into our next crazy journey, our wedding.

A couple of days back we did the second payment on the venue, and I should be getting my dress in June, but there are SO many things still to be figured out. Now that we are actually together we get the chance to discuss vendors, prices, styles, etc.


We All Grow Summit 2016

I know this post is  late, but my life has been insane the past month. Now that I am all settled, here is my recap of an experience that changed my life.

I had the pleasure to assist to the second We All GrowSummit back in the beginning of March. First and foremost, I want to thank Ana Flores for creating this summit – it was a beautiful experience and I am already excited  for next year to live it again!

I had been wanting to attend the summit, but I was feeling overwhelmed with life and didn’t know if I had the time,, so I never bought a ticket. About a month before, Neutrogena and Latina Bloggers Connect launched a contest with the #MisMomentosNeutrogena that offered four lucky winners a pass to the summit. I figured I would participate, but never thought I was going to win, but I did and felt so lucky and grateful!  

Being my first blogger summit EVER, I was very intimidated and nervous, but also very excited. To be honest, I was expecting a more competitive vibe, but to my surprise I found a true sense of sisterhood among the attendees. These amazing, talented women exceeded my expectations and taught me a lot.

It was very intimidating to meet some of the bloggers that I have been following for years and put a  human being behind the post, the Instagram photos and the snaps. Yet it was also very refreshing to see that they are humble, and approachable no matter how famous they are.


Why I don't regret my long distance relationship and would do it all over again

I’m not going to lie, the past three years have been HARD (to say the least),  but now that it’s almost over and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I have been reflecting on all the things we gained as a couple and as individuals during this time.

1. You find yourselves. Prior to the distance, we had been together for so long and had just lived together for a year, the lines between where he ended and I began, became blurred.  . While the process was painful, this forced time apart gave us a chance of a lifetime. We discovered what we truly like, what we missed doing together, and what we enjoyed doing separately.


How Favor saved our Valentines

Have you ever heard of Favor? Well, if not, let me tell you that you are missing out on something huge. Imagine a world where ANYTHING you want to have delivered, you can. Food? Done. Toilet paper? Done. I  knew when I first discovered Favor my whole world would change.

As I mentioned on my previous post for Valentine’s Day, my fiancé and I will not be able to spend it together. It has been hard for me to come to terms with it because, well, it is the year we are getting married so technically this is our last Valentine’s before we become husband and wife! But Favor is here to save the day! Their latest update is absolutely made for long distance couples (not officially, but in my eyes, yes). You now have the capability to order from one of the Favor cities and get it delivered to a different Favor city. It is sooooo perfect!


Valentine's Week of Love Challenge

Photo by: And the Sea

Recently, I stumbled upon this amazing Etsy stores while reading a Buzzfeed article and I really fell in love with their work. So, I partnered up with them for a “Week of Love Challenge”.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many of us won’t have the privilege of being with our significant other – my fiancé and I included (bummer).  Since we’ll be apart, I decided to create the "Week of Love Challenge" so instead of sending him a little something the day of, I decided to send him one card a day leading up to Valentine’s – hence the Week of Love Challenge.


How to pick a venue and a dress?

Photography by: K and K Photography

It's 2016, we’re getting married! My fiancé proposed to me almost two years ago and it still feels like it was yesterday. There are now only seven months to go and we’ve just begun to REALLY get down to planning the details.

I want to share step-by-step where we are in the planning process, give you some tips and, (hopefully) get some tips in return! As of now, we have the venue which is a gorgeous Spanish villa in Coconut Grove in Miami called Villa Woodbine. When we stepped foot there for the first time, we thought it was going to be WAY out of our budget. Thankfully, it actually ended up being perfect and they do the catering so… BOOM! Venue and catering are done.


The Swoon ATX

Photo by: Apryl Ann Photography

Being an art director mean that I art direct my entire life, and yes if you are wondering I do art direct even my food sometimes. So planning my wedding can get a bit overwhelming because I want EVERYTHING to be perfect and to reflect our personalities and who we are as a couple. This is why I am so excited to team up with The Swoon for their upcoming event in Austin.

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