#Thisis30 – DAY 55: Realization

Sunday thinking had me realizing it’s been 55 days since I turned 30. Whoa! Where does time go? Can someone hit the pause button please?

To be honest lately I feel like I’ve been going through some self changes. However, it seems like I’ve been feeling like this for the past year or so. I’ve noticed that I don’t worry or dwell too much on things I can’t control. That doesn’t mean I still don’t overthink things because as human beings that is totally normal. But, every thought you have in your mind YOU control. This is something that I’ve learned to do because thoughts can also kill you emotionally. I’ve also learned to be a happier person and to just go with the flow of things. Now many of my close friends and family would say I’m already a goofy and happy person. But, sometimes the silliest people hold a lot inside.

From being a kid to my teens, 20’s till now I have learned that this thing we call LIFE can change in the blink of an eye. Here are some things that life has taught me in my 20’s and how I feel now.

My 20’s have taught me growth, that it’s ok to NOT be in charge all the time and that it’s ok to say no, to love like it’s your last, hate less and laugh more, to be patient, believe in yourself and that you don’t need validation from anyone. To be grateful, remain focus and stay grounded.

My 20’s have taught me to be open, to not compare myself to others, to be vulnerable but still have my guard up, to be positive, humble, to learn always and take notes, to not give up because the hardest part is starting something but the finish point will be worth it. Don’t worry about failing because the best stories come from those who have failed but got up again and succeeded. I’ve learned to not take people for granted, to try new things that scared me before, to treat everyone equally, to refrain from saying something and walking away if it’s not positive, to help and give more.

My 20’s until now has given me the realization that I needed for myself. Life is not always what it’s meant to be and that’s ok. Nothing is written in stone and you are the author of your life. Everyone’s story is different and that’s what makes us unique.

I’ve loved and also lost loved ones at such a young age. Those early moments in my life has kept me elevated and a stronger person to help me reach this path of realization.

#Thisis30

November 11, 2018.

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Love at first sip with T’HO COFFEE: A New Type Of Brew.

My friend/blogger invited me to an event where Entrepreneur Patricia Acheson the CEO of T’HO Commodities Coffee (Pronounced TEA-HO) held an event to help kick-off the coffee brand here in Chicago.

My first experience sipping the coffee was “whoa” this coffee is amazing. A rich taste was left in my mouth and I was drawn in. The aroma in the atmosphere had a cocoa like hint to it from the coffee being brewed. I also love how T’HO gives back. The coffee comes in a brown biodegradable bag and reusable cans. T’HO is also looking into a program where the cans are able to be reused/refilled. The coffee brand also accommodates to their customers, as stated on their website under Coffee Inquiries, T’HO Coffee will cater to all your coffee needs and and even customize a blend that fits your restaurant’s unique brand.  T’HO will help take your Brunch Menu to a whole new level…” Once you fill out the form a specialist contacts you in 24 hours! How neat is that?! 0

The idea of T’HO Coffee was proposed by the Founder, Diego Rodriguez when het met Patricia Acheson in 2017. Ms. Acheson was working a full-time job all while picking up extra shifts at “Crown and Acre, a high-end bar in the Financial District, where Diego supplied his specialty coffee.” A friendship was then developed as the two discussed over coffee, life lessons and business. Mr. Rodriguez has hosted his own cuppings, opened coffee shops in the Bay Area and is now a master roaster.

The name T’HO comes from the city in which Diego Rodriguez was born in T’HO, Mexico; The Crossroads of Maya history and today it is now known as the city of Merida, Mexico. From his childhood memories of working on cocoa farms while his mom and grandmother roasted beans all day to growing up and meeting “legendary coffee connoisseur’s” he was already on the path for great things.

“When he was 22 he moved to San Francisco in hopes of opening chocolate shop, but his plan took a pleasant turn when he met the specialty-coffee living legend, Erna Knutsen who introduced him to the magnificent wonders of the coffee industry.  Soon after his experience with Erna he was introduced to Alfred Peet, owner of Peet’s Coffee.  Peet adored Diego and took him under his wing.  Diego mentions many times how they were very close friends until the day he passed. Peet even left Diego a gift with a note and at the end it said: “Diego, you really are a great coffee man”. “ 

There mission is simple yet positive as stated below T’HO is all about giving, encouraging and motivating.

WHAT’S OUR MISSION AND VISION?

Yes, we have a passion for high quality coffee, but that’s not all that defines T’HO.  Every day that you wake up and put your feet on the floor, we believe an opportunity for positive change awaits us all. T’HO wants to be a part of helping people make that change, and we decided to start our movement with coffee.   We chose coffee as our first product, not only becauseDiego is a professional coffee connoisseur, but also because 83% of the adults in this world start their day with a cup of coffee.  And when you open a bag of T’HO Coffee every morning, you will find “T’HO ENCOURAGEMENTS”; a motivational card that promotes a positive change in all aspects of life.  We plan to encourage this change within offices, cafes, homes, stadiums, restaurants, and all other venues.  Any place you can get a cup of coffee- T’HO will be there.  

 Mission: With coffee, we will strive to create the reality of aesthetic living. 

Vision:  To start a movement that promotes positive change by creating products that make life more enjoyable while keeping the environment clean. 

HOW DO WE GIVE BACK?

T’HO is keen on paying it forward.  We promote a clean environment by using 100% biodegradable bags and reusable coffee tins.  We promote a clean mind by donating time and funds to Mental Health Awareness throughout the world.   Learn more on our “Giving Back” page.

To know more about THO Commodities, the origin of the coffee and where to buy it…you can visit https://www.thocommodities.com and visit their Instagram @THOCOMMODITIESCOFFEE

Q & A with: Salsa dancers, instructors & performers, Tito Ortos and Tamara Livolsi

Salsa dancers, instructors and performers Tito Ortos and Tamara Livolsi have been dancing professionally for years and their advice to others is to, “never stop learning.” Both agree that any discipline you receive in life will enrich your knowledge and help you become a better dancer or in anything you do. “We’ve taught and helped many people with dancing but we still learn from others. There are many new things we learn ourselves.” Tito:Tamara perform 3.jpg

Who are some of the Spanish musicians/bands you’ve danced for and taught? El Gran Combo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Victor Manuelle and Tito Nieves to name a few.

What was it like dancing for them and teaching Salsa? “First it’s always an honor to dance for musicians. The group El Gran Combo, they are very laid back, simple and mischievous. They like to have fun but are also very hard workers. Tito Nieves is also very easy to work with.”

The duo had danced and choreographed for other artists prior but one day their lives were changed when an opportunity began to open more doors.

How did you get the opportunity to choreograph for well-known artists? “Both Gilberto Santa Rosa and Victor Manuelle were doing a concert together named “Dos Soneros Una Historia” and we performed and did the choreography. Then it opened new opportunities because that is when “El Gran Combo” became our next group to work with and so on.”Tito:Tamara perform 6.jpg

The couple first initially met in New York but didn’t really get to associate with one another until 3 years after when they realized they had friends in common. In 2000, Tamara began a salsa dance group and Tito joined. At that time, Tito and Tamara began dating and began their journey together as dancers.

“The television show ‘Sabado Gigante’ held a competition for dancing one year and the network Univision paid for everything for us to show and perform. Tito won but I was just really there because for me it was for fun,” said Tamara.

Tamara was born in Argentina but at the age of 5-6 months old, her family moved to Puerto Rico where she was raised. Although she began a group in 2000, she has been professionally dancing since the age of 15. “My mother was a professional dancer and I never thought I would be one too because I was going to study and become a Veterinarian,” said Tamara.

Tito was born and raised in Puerto Rico and growing up his father was a musician. “In 1992, my dad created a band and wanted me to be involved with music. I then took a class with a teacher in Puerto Rico who was also a director and then I began rehearsing and became a part of my dad’s group.” Tito’s first teacher was Papito Jala Jala. Although Tito majored in Biology, another route was in the works for him when dancing took his time and he went with it. When I asked if they had world titles the two noted that they don’t dance to compete but do it for fun, to perform and most importantly, to teach.

Who are some people you both looked up to growing up? “Vivian Alaya and for reference Griselle Ponce.” said Tamara

“I would say my teacher, Anibal Vaszquez, Mike Ramos but today the list goes on.” said Tito.

“Tito likes to study music and dancers from before and is well rounded in that,” said Tamara.Titio:Tamara perform 11.jpg

After learning about Tito and Tamara’s story and becoming professional dancers, I was inspired because it didn’t happen overnight. Both, took chances and opportunities in their lives and it led to new journeys and amazing adventures. Here’s to their advice, “NEVER STOP LEARNING.”

http://chicagosalsacongress.com/

Chicago International Salsa Congress 2018 – Recap

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This year marked the 17th annual Chicago International Salsa Congress and this exciting 4-day event was filled with musicians, performances and dance workshops. The feeling once you step into the salsa congress is like no other. There’s a joy that comes over you and it doesn’t matter if you’re not a dancer because the overall experience is breathtaking. Many come for its sole purpose and that is to enjoy themselves, experience and witness what the event is all about.

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As always it never ceases to amaze me on how performers from different states, cities and around the world come together under one roof to showcase their best performances. Passion, creativity, love for music and dance is shared with the crowed. This year in particular there was more of a focus on the youth program and dance. I was stunned to see such young kids go on stage and dance their hearts off. After learning what Rosita Ragin-Alamin, co-founder and producer shared with me, she noted that it is important because these kids go on stage in front of many people and learn to become confident. I could not agree more because if there is something where kids can learn how to feel that poise within them they can conquer anything.

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During the day, DJ’s and guest DJ’s play music continuously throughout 3 ballrooms and the main hallway area to keep the energy going. The evening weekend line up featured, JR and his bachata band from New York, Orquesta Guayacan direct from Colombia, La Sonora Ponceña of Puerto Rico and Sunday night closed with the best of the best from the Midwest with an incredible jam session under the direction of Chicago’s own Edwin Sanchez and Angel Rodriguez.

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Each year I always look forward to the different workshops held during the day such as, SalsaArobics, Bachata Footwork, Ladies Styling, Mambo Shines, Cuban Salsa, Cha Cha, Brazilan Samba, Afro Mambo, Kizomba, Vogue and the list goes on! The classes are an hour long and usually there is one or two instructors leading the class in each ballroom for different classes. At the end of each workshop session the instructor allows the class to record him/her as they demonstrate the routine one last time. Instructors also offer a one-on-one private dance session.

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If you’re interested, then you definitely do not want to miss out on next year’s Chicago International Salsa Congress! February 7 -10, 2019. For more info, click on the link below and visit them!

www.chicagosalsacongress.com

Ericka Dip and Antonio

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Rosita Ragin-Alamin & Saladeen Alamin (Co-Founders and Producers)

Latino Fashion Week 2017

This year’s Latino Fashion Week motto was “Without Limits” and it truly lived to its name. From the opening night till the last day I was amazed by the different styles from each designer. Once again, co-founders and producers of the show Arabel Alva Rosales and Cesar Rolon Jr. brought out some of the best designers and even those who are starting up and giving them a chance to showcase their work.

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“How To Be A Latin Lover”- Media Event

“They didn’t call me to do this movie. I was the one who generated the script and opened the company. I hired the writers, directors, and brought everyone to make it happen,” said Actor Eugenio Derbez. FullSizeRender_1

On Monday April 17, LatinoScoop hosted the “How To Be A Latino Lover,” media event at the National Museum of Mexican Art in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago.

Actor Eugenio Derbez was the star of the evening and gave an inspirational speech about his anticipated film. He explained how his journey was not an easy process but did not give up. His words of wisdom moved the crowd and informed noted to be proud of who you are and the title of the movie is a prime example of that. 

“Even though it’s an American Movie filmed by Lionsgate, the 2 stars fo the movie are Latino,” he said. 

The event displayed easels with photos from scenes of the movie throughout the gallery. Because the event was media driven those who attended were welcomed to take pictures and post to social media.  FullSizeRender

Complimentary appetizers and drinks from HennessyVS were also given to guests. Before Eugenio Derbez went on stage a teen mariachi band performed for the guests. LatinoScoop did an amazing job in putting the event together.IMG_0712

The cast of the movie includes, Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Kristen Bell, Rob Lowe, Raquel Welch, Rob Riggle, Michael Cera and Rob Corddry.

“How To Be A Latin Lover” hits theaters Friday April, 28. 

LatinoScoop.com

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“Missing My Baby” – Selena Lives On

On Sunday April 16 it would have been Selena Quintanilla’s 46th birthday. What better way to celebrate than by having a tribute to the singer known as the Queen of Tejano.image7

ColdChillen Event Management hosted yet another memorable event. “Missing My Baby” was held at Untitled in Chicago and it was all about Selena Quintanilla. As soon as you walked in ladies were given a single white rose and a goody bag. A birthday cake was also presented with a photo of the singer on it and an artist was doing a live mural painting of Selena. The lights were dim and candles lit up the room for the occasion. There was also a tabled filled with pizza boxes for guests and another station with nail technicians from Hush Nail Salon doing manicures. A mariachi band also performed and paid tribute.

The ambiance in the room was uplifting and you can feel the love and energy resonating.  A projector screen played a video with pictures of Selena as music played in the background. Selena’s music and voice swept fans from all over the world and her legacy continues to live on.

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 Event Management:  Coldchillen.comimage2
 Nail Salon: Salonhush.com
 Lounge: untitledsupperclub.com

Fashion Designer – Hola Chola Pop-up Shop

FullSizeRender (1)“It goes to show that if you really believe in something go for it,” said Susanna Gonzalez.

Fashion Designer and owner of Hola Chola Brand, Susanna Gonzalez has proven to be a fearless self-starter entrepreneur. This past weekend I attended the Hola Chola pop-up shop inside the National Museum of Mexican Art located in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Susanna shared her story and how she became an independent artist.

Growing up in New York she felt sheltered at home because she was unable to explore. She felt drained at the everyday routine and rituals. Her family was accustomed and set in their ways but Susanna felt an urgency of wanting more.

“At 23 years old I made a bold decision to relocate to Los Angeles but, as time went by I felt like I was losing touch with my roots and religion back home. I forgot who I was because I was away from home so I decided to take a journey to Jalisco, Mexico,” she said.FullSizeRender_3

During her time there she celebrated one of Mexico’s colorful and patriotic festivals in September known as their Independence Day,  El Mes De La Patria (month of the homeland). She explained how her adventure in Mexico was a life changing experience because she felt the unity of the people and how it brought the Latino community together.

“They barely had anything but people were happy and I was drawn to the churches and religion,” she said.

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Her time spent in Mexico inspired her from religion to the arts. One thing that stuck with Susanna was “La Reina.”  She explained how ever since her journey she kept seeing La Reina appear and would pray.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, where she is known as La Reina de Mexico and is very much a cultural icon,” Mamiverse.com.

After her stay in Mexico Susanna decided to go back home to live in New York but while there she felt a sense of sadness.   FullSizeRender_12

“I felt uncomfortable knowing people in my hometown/background in Mexico were poor and had nothing,” she said.

She wanted to artistically bring to the life the culture and what she saw in Mexico but knew she would be held back from her full potential in New York because of her parents. She continued to pray to La Reina for guidance until one day she received a phone call for a job opportunity in Los Angeles and relocated once again. Although, she was working in L.A. she had an idea to work on her own brand and that’s when Hola Chola came to mind. Soon she found herself on her spare time working on her brand and was determined. As time went by she became passionate and diligent on the attire she made. Through the process of being away from home, working and starting her brand she was alone but never gave up.

“My family didn’t believe I could do it but here I am today and I just recently quit my job in November,” she said.

Her personality and smile gave an uplifting vibrant vibe. The ambiance in the room was electric and there was a variety of merchandise from hats, clothes to even suitcases.  Inside the main gallery room there were nail technicians from Hush Nail Salon in Chicago, Hennessy V•S complimentary mixed drinks and a DJ on stage. The event had people from all backgrounds and each person’s style conveyed uniqueness from edgy, spunk, eccentric and overall creative. Being that it was her first time in Chicago she proved that no matter where she goes she can conquer any obstacle’s and draws an audience with her brand and style.

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A special thanks to Cold Chillen Ent. for joining forces with Susanna Gonzalez to put the event together to Hush Nail Salon for coming out and doing some fabulous manicures  to Hennessy VS for the complimentary mixed drinks and to the DJ for playing some great music and engaging the crowd.

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Cold Chillen Event Mngmt. Team

Instagram: @Holacholainc , @Ssuperior , @Pherolive , @djkingmarie , @hushsalonchicago

Twitter: @HolaCholaInc

WWW.HolaChola.Com

Cold Chillen Event Management Coldchillen.com

Hush Nail Salon www.salonhush.com

#HolaChola #HennessyV•S #ColdChillen #HushNailSalon

 

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