Holiday: 5 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas


Photo Credit: Stuart Catie

Christmas is 12 days away! With your busy schedule, you might not have the time or budget to splurge on gifts for all your friends and family. Show them, this year, that “it’s the thought that counts,’ with a little time, a few bucks, and imagination, your loved ones will feel special with their own customized gift.

1. Write a personal letter– Get some nice stationery paper at a store like  Staples or Target. Spend time thinking how much they mean to you, inspire you, or the impact they have on your life. Once you write it down, frame it and wrap it.There is no greater gift than letting someone know how much you love them.

2) Make a photo collage– If you are not a wordsy girl, use your creative eye to make a picture collage of your best memories with that person. This is a great gift for siblings, cousins, and friends;  Especially if you live far away from home.

3) Book of Coupons– As a busy college student, it can be hard to find to time to get together with friends and family. Make up for it by gifting them your time or talent, for example, your friends might like ” A Cup of Coffee and Chisme” or for your Beaux, ” A Movie Night” theme of his favorite movies. Get creative! Your friends and family will have fun redeeming their coupons.

4) Travel Kit– With airline prices going up, your loved one may not be able to travel to all the cities and countries they’d like. Pick a place they dream of visiting and create their own personal travel guide. Fill it with information about clubs, bars, landmarks, restaurants and local culture that they would love to visit. If the city is abroad, include some basic language phrases they will need to know. They will appreciate the personal touch.

5) Sweet Treats– Who doesn’t love sweets? Is your sister a chocolate fiend? Does your boyfriend love peanut butter? Bake a dish to satisfy their sweet tooth. Visit Joy of Baking, a website that features various dessert recipes and creative ways to gift them. When baked with love, the gift will be all the more  sweeter.


Need more ideas? Check out this website for 100 DIY Gift Ideas. Do you have any DIY gift suggestions? Share them below.

10 Tips for a Guilt-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner

Photo Credit: Erin Kohlenberg


Thanksgiving is 3 days away!!! Who isn’t looking forward to a mini-vacation dedicated to spending time with family and stuffing our face? Yet, for those us watching our weight, this could be a sticky dilemma. Do we throw caution to the wind and splurge? Or eat a sucky dinner consisting of a garden salad and a small helping of turkey? Neither! The key word in a relationship is compromise.  You can still eat all the yummy food and still have a guilt free holiday.  Here are some tips courtesy of WebMd on how to do just that:

1) Get Active– Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) advises to, “‘Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.”

2) Eat Breakfast- “Eating a nutritious meal with protein and fiber before you arrive takes the edge off your appetite and allows you to be more discriminating in your food and beverage choices,” says Diekman.

3) Police Your Portions– “Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long,” suggests Diekman. “Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.”

4) Slowly Savor- Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say.

5) Go Easy on the Alcohol (21+ only :)- Don’t forget those alcohol calories that can add up quickly.”Have a glass of wine or a wine spritzer and between alcoholic drinks, (or) enjoy sparkling water,” says Diekman. “this way you stay hydrated, limit alcohol calories, and stay sober.”

Want more tips? Read the full story here.

Altagracia Guzman Fights for Justice!

Photo Credit: Cristina Costantini via Huffington Post- Latino Voices


Age truly is nothing but a number, as Altagracia Guzman shows us, as she joins the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. Her compassion and conviction for a Just society compelled her to, as they say, “be about it.” She is a living inspiration that reminds us one can never be too old to make a difference in the world.

Check out an excerpt from the article, “Altagracia Guzman, 81, Marches From Washington Heights To Wall Street With Occupy Protesters” via the Huffington Post-Latino Voices:

“Altagracia Guzman, 81, walked slowly but purposefully from northern Manhattan to the financial district, virtually the entire length of the island, in an Occupy Wall Street demonstration intended to introduce more Latinos and blacks to the cause.

“When I came here 45 years ago there was inequality and racism, and still to this day the same is happening, and some of it has even gotten worse,” Guzman, a native of Cuba, said in Spanish.

Answering criticism that the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement has remained largely white and young, hundreds of black and Latino residents of all ages joined local elected officials Monday in an 11-mile march from the tenements of Upper Manhattan to the high-rises of the financial district.

Marching to the beat of drums and horns, black and Latino community activists, labor leaders and ordinary New Yorkers kicked off their procession in Washington Heights, one of New York’s most racially diverse neighborhoods. They dubbed Monday’s march the “End to End for 99 percent,” a reference to its path from one end of the Manhattan to the other.

Guzman, like many other protesters, seemed to break the mold of the typical Occupiers — who critics say are mostly white and young.

Living her own version of the American dream, Guzman became an actress 10 years ago after working as a seamstress most of her life. She was cast as the grandmother in the movie “Raising Victor Vargas.” She subsequently appeared in a handful of other films, such as “I Heart Huckabees” in 2004 and “Fighting” in 2009.

But despite Guzman’s success in Hollywood, she said she identifies deeply with the hardworking immigrants in her neighborhood and thinks things have only gotten harder for them in recent years. She carried a sign that read in Spanish, “La inigualdad nos ENFERMA,” and in English, “Inequalities make us SICK.””


Want more? Click here for the full story.



5 Beauty Tips & Products for Glowing Winter Skin

Photo Credit: Exquisite Salon and Spa


In the winter, all skin types tend to dry up and become pale. Even if you live in a warmer climate or colder climate, these skin issues still happen. Cold wind, rain or wind can cause dryness. Here are 5 ways to beat the winter blues.

1. You must exfoliate at least once a week. It’s common to forget to exfoliate because of busy schedules, but it’s one of the most important skin regimens. It not only allows luminous skin to show but also removes dead skin and can prevent blemishes. A great product is Zensation’s Ultra Silky Rose Exfoliating Cream. It’s rough and gentle, and using Rose petals to help exfoliate. Zensation products can be purchased online at Amazon or Zensation online.

2. Daily washing and moisturizing is needed. Washing your face twice a day can help add radiance to the skinin cold or windy temperature. Moisturizing right after is a necessity.  This keeps the skin soft and removes dry spots. Getting a moisturizer with tint is great to beat the pale and dryness of winter. A great product is Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. It evens the skins tone and promotes glowing skin. This product can be found at Aveeno online by clicking link.

3. The perfect foundation for your skin tone.  Personally, I think using a liquid foundation in the colder temperature is better than powder because it fades out dry skin. It’s also easy to combine it with a face lotion. L’Oreal’s true match liquid foundation is great for covering dry patches and uneven skin caused by winter. Bodyography’s Liquid Radiance in Gold Coast is great to mix in with the liquid foundation. It allows the foundation to go on smooth and flawlessly, and adds a natural glow and dewiness to the skin, which is lost in the winter. Products can be found at any Drugstore or Sephora.

4. Blush! During the winter days, skin becomes pale. To promote a blushing perfect face one must find a perfect shade for winter. During the summer, it’s great to have bronzer as blush, but during the winter that should be placed aside and switched with a pinker/rosier tint. Covergirl’s Cheekers in natural rose fits all skin colors. Using a brush, you sweep lightly above the apple of your cheeks this will highlight your face and glow. Product can be found at any drugstore or online by clicking link.

5. Last but not least, water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, this will naturally allow rosy cheeks and radiance onto your skin.