Sarape Style Files: A case of the Mondays

Bueno pues… my weekend plans of attending the LA Times Festival of books were thwarted last minute. Plan B was not much fun at all, ¿pero qué le hacemos? Health comes first.

This is officially the second worst cold/flu of my life*. 10 days and counting, sigo afónica con un sore throat  to the point of answering a business call and having the guy identify me as “Cristina with the hoarse voice” (Ouch!)

Note to self: I will no longer try speaking today. Ya fue mucho “güiri-güiri”… I’ll try sign language.

(* The worst cold of my life was not actually a cold but pneumonia at the age of 9, which knocked me out of school for 2 weeks and forever left me scared of salir de la casa con el pelo mojado, but I digress.)

Today I had a case of the Mondays. It is raining in LA and I am trying to get back into the groove of things. This morning I got up like Linus from Peanuts, dragging my blanket, my bed calling out to me still. Does this ever happen to you?

Funny thing, on my way to lunch I saw this woman who was wearing a blanket as a raincoat. Well it’s not exactly a blanket, but a Mexican Sarape, the likes of which I had not seen for a while. Practical and warm? Yes. Stylish and pleasing on the eyes? Not exactly.

But it made me laugh. That is exactly what I felt like wearing.

Gripa, sal de este cuerpo ¡pero YA!!!!

Have a good week my friends.

Maybe it's not the best look in the world, but today I would've happily worn this outfit. Don't think it will make "The Sartorialist" any time soon!




First time hiking in LA: Fryman Canyon

Los Angeles is a wonderful and complex city, filled with freeways and concrete, but surrounded by hills and a sprawling landscape that every once in a while reminds you to connect with Mother Nature.

A mi no se me da mucho eso del hiking y los nature walks, neither am I the outdoorsy R.E.I. type. But when presented for the first time ever with an invitation to go hiking last Sunday, it was honestly an offer I couldn’t refuse. The place: Dearing Mountain Trail: Fryman Canyon to Tree People Park.

Starting the hike.

The location was right off Mullholland Drive (the famous spot of many movies and weird incidents) and it was a hike that promised a bit of adventure.

A group of newfound very cool friends, all experienced hikers and nature lovers, organized and lead the hike. So off we went.

It was initially a challenge for moi; going down a hill with slippery dirt, rocks of all sizes, not to mention ubiquitous poison ivy. When you haven’t done this, it can be a task not suitable for the faint of heart (ni para los que sufrimos de vertigo– at one point where I looked all the way down, I thought to myself, what was I thinking?!) But I kept trying to not look below, enjoy it as much as I could, and take a few pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I may be eco-friendly, use those funky foquitos en espiral, and recycle often, but the thought of going too far with this did cross my mind. Some sections of the trail are extremely narrow and the way down looks quite bottomless.  (Or I may exaggerate. Aquí su segura servilleta se medio ‘panickeo’ cuando vio las profundidades de las barrancas, bien bien profundas y verdes. Pero mentalmente me puse a cantar la canción de “Sacaremos a Ese Buey de la Barranca” y me alegró el momento.)

Yet, the views are amazing and the walk provides time to meditate or just catch up with nature and make friends.  After a few hours on the trail, when we arrived back at the parking lot, I emerged with a newfound appreciation for nature in LA, and with a slightly improved concept of hiking.

This is another perfect example of why we are spoiled in California, with great backdrops and idyllic landscapes, a stones throw away from the city.

So I want to say Thank You AMIGOS– Gracias Ken, Aaron, Olivia, and everyone. They are new friends and made this experience one to remember. ¡Gracias a todos! And especially thanks to Loic for the post hike dinner. Truly a treat.

One of the views of the hike.

Poison Oak interweaves everywhere. It is not to be messed with! (Primera vez que la conozco en persona, pero de lejecitos.)

Ahi vamos todos, going up the hill.

Taking a mini break. Every once in a while you would find these kind of spots, with a bit of space for conversation.

When coming to a fork in the road, naturally we had to go in the direction of the rainforest.

Nice group shot by the lovely Ms. Erin Tamayo. We stood by the sign just to prove we had "arrived" at the rainforest.

Another group shot of the hiking friends.

Post hike rest and stretch at the parking lot. There is free parking, by the way.

A view from the trail. This is a great place for meditation and nature appreciation.

National Wear Red Day: Supporting Heart Health and Go Red Por Tu Corazón

Today, February 3rd, is National Wear Red Day and if I may, I’d like to make a little public service announcement on behalf of the American Heart Association and Macy’s.

When was the last time you ever thought about YOUR HEART? And I mean your heart as an organ that keeps you alive, not as a symbol of romance or love, or broken heart that inspires a sad love song.

It’s a very startling statistic to find out that women rarely pay attention to the fact that heart disease, and cardiovascular disease, are the number one killers of women. We think that heart attacks are exclusive to men. But I was shocked to find out that it takes more lives than breast and ovarian cancer among women, and that we do not consider the risks.

The Go Red Por Tu Corazón campaign website, en español! Hagan click para ir al sitio.Tell your mother, tell your sisters, tell your friends.

To raise awareness of heart disease among women, the American Heart Association launched an initiative called “Go Red for Women” back in 2004, and you will be happy to know it has made a difference.

They have also, very wisely, created the initiative in Spanish, calling it “Go Red Por Tu Corazón”  (love the title in Spanglish!) and is reaching out to the Hispanic Community. Díganle a sus Mamás, a sus Tias, a sus Hermanas, a sus Amigas que lo lean. Spread the word!

I encourage you to visit the website, in Spanish (click here) and in English (click here) and learn how to participate, create awareness and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. It’s worth a few minutes of your time. It even has recipes and very useful tips on how to recognize the symptoms and warning signs of a stroke.

One of the sponsors of this campaign is my favorite store- MACY’S- who has contributed $28 million dollars to the cause since 2004.  They have a special sale going on today Friday Feb. 3, for anyone who shops at the store and is wearing red. What a great idea, since today ando de rojo! I think I’m gonna save me 20% on my purchases.

You can contribute and make a $2 dollar donation by getting the Go Red pin at Macy’s and by shopping on the exclusive WEAR RED items they have benefiting the American Heart Association.

You can purchase this pin for $2 and support Go Red Para Tu Corazón.

And you can also use the power of social media to donate. Visit the Macy’s fanbook page (click here) and create a Valentine by February 14th. They will donate $2 for each Valentine card sent, with a total of up to $250 thousand dollars in support of the Go Red Campaign. ¿Quien me quiere mandar una tarjetita de San Valentin?

Macy's is a wonderful sponsor of the Go Red Campaign. Click on the image to support the cause on their facebook page.

Walking the AIDS WALK LA 2011

The annual AIDS WALK Los Angeles took place last Sunday October 16th and it had an impressive turnout. I’ve done this walk for 3 years in a row and this year I noticed people were happier and much more spirited. Maybe it had to do with the weather, which was Biu-Ti-Ful…a bright, crisp, spotless LA Sunday morning, perfect for a 6 mile (10K) walk on the West Side.

I walked as part of the Macy’s Team, thanks to the invitation of my friend Olivia. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, Macy’s is committed to the community and especially to the AIDS cause, donating millions of dollars each year. (So think of that every time you shop and know somehow it comes back to benefit someone else.)

It was fun to rediscover the neighborhood most of us drive through but never really notice when we’re on Santa Monica Blvd., or Melrose, or La Brea. We got to see all the little shops, restaurants, art galleries and murals at a walking pace, and we did a little window shopping and dreaming too.

Here are a few pix from the event and if you want to support this wonderful organization, please visit the AIDS Project Los Angeles website at

The Macy's Team at AIDS Walk LA 2011.

Meeting point was the Pacific Design Center.

The Abbey, the famous spot in the West Side, was the site of the VIP breakfast before the walk.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez from the U.S. House of Representatives during her speech at the VIP breakfast. She promised to continue the fight for equal rights for homosexuals.

The starting line at Santa Monica Blvd.

Walking past the Marc Jacobs Store on Melrose.

The Paul Frank store is hot pink!

Around 30 thousand people showed up. This is 3rd Street and La Cienega, looking west.


Certificate of completion, another 10K under the belt!


Otra paranoia más: the correlation between cell phones & brain cancer

Add cell phone radiation to the ever growing paranoias on our list.

Yesterday the Word Health Organization issued a warning heard around the world,  saying “Heavy use of cell phones MIGHT cause brain cancer.”

Uuuuuuuts… de veras que cuando no es Juana, es Chana.

Do we need another reason to get freaked out by everyday life? To think that 30 minutes a day on the cell phone could potentially expose us to harmful radiation is not something we want to consider as we’re chatting away on our mobiles.

Heard an interesting conversation on “To The Point” with Warren Olney on today.  It was interesting to hear the skeptics versus the doctors versus the middle of the road scientists. Basically the middle of the road people say nothing is proven yet, but we’ve only had cell phone technology for less than 20 years, and it’s too soon to come to any conclusions. But imagine 5 billion people use cell phones every day and if any of these warning were true, we’d have to change our phone habits, which at this point is very unlikely.

I wonder if they’re doing more research on the subject? In the meantime I think I’m going to use my speakerphone much more often and think about getting a landline, again. El miedo no anda en burro señores.

To hear the debate on “To The Point,” click here to go to And check out if your phone is on the list of top radiation emissions: from CNN en Español.

Cell phone headlines on the front page: "Comunican y Enferman" on La Opinion today.

“Womentum” at the Revlon RunWalk for Women 2011

Revlon RunWalk for Women was held last Saturday at the LA Coliseum.

Last Saturday at the LA Coliseum, almost 75 thousand people turned up for the annual Revlon RunWalk 2011 in honor and support of women who are fighting and beating cancer. Entire families and people of all ages showed up to honor the women in their lives. It was an empowering and uplifting event, and you could feel the love and energy everyone brought to the occasion, which was called “Womentum” ( a very creative and clever name, if you ask me.)

It was also nice to see Halle Berry, the beautiful actress and Revlon spokesmodel, in person, welcoming everybody at the starting line and cheering people on. She was there along with Alyson Hannigan,the actress from American Pie,  Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, and Lilly Tartikoff, who heads the RunWalk effort.

The co-sponsors of the event were Macy’s and Toyota, with teams representing and doing the walk as well. It’s nice to see Macy’s continues to support great causes in support of women’s health and the community. Thanks to Olivia, Cause Marketing Manager at Macy’s,  for inviting me to the event. All in all a great day!

The Macy's Team, proud to support the cause at RunWalk.

Lilly Tartikoff with Halle Berry, getting ready to pose for photographers, before the event began.

Another shot of the celebrities at the event.

Halle Berry welcomes the crowd and motivates everyone to keep supporting the fight against cancer.

The starting line had confetti blasts, and off they went.

It was really exciting to enter the Coliseum through the tunnels at the end of the 5K.

At the Coliseum finish line, everybody had a party at the end.

Better get moving people.

Let’s file this one under Health Tips: buenos, bonitos y baratos

Ay, ay, ay. Feeling a little weird this morning. Maybe because the weather finally changed in LA and it’s getting nice and warm. And I’m feeling big and heavy (Ooops was that my inside voice?)… Confieso que I had a little too many sweet treats for Easter.  Prácticamente celebre todo el weekend, and today I’m paying for it.

On my ride to work today, I heard this piece on NPR about physical fitness vs. sitting all day. It made me think about how much time I spend SITTING DOWN. Whether at work or watching my tivo’s (hello Reina del Sur!) I can tell you, it’s at least 8 hours. Even if I walk for 30 minutes plus, those 8 hours sitting down are taking a toll on the body.

So if you have 7 minutes, listen to this piece. If you don’t, and you also spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer,  just make it a point to move, stretch or walk in place for at least one minute an hour. The body needs to snap back into movement for all the time it’s spent idle, and we need to move and contract our muscles, otherwise we’ll lose them. (Como dicen por ahi, “Use it or lose it.”)  So now I’m setting up a reminder on the computer to prompt me to move every hour for a few minutes, which is what they recommended in the piece. Click below to go to NPR.

Sitting All Day is Worse for You than You Think. April 25, 2011. NPR

And since we’re on the subject of sitting down in front of the computer, here’s a great tip that mi Tia Marie sent me over the weekend. We should all be improving our posture as we sit and type, otherwise we’re going to look like Hunchbacks of Notre Dame in our old age (Cancelado. Cancelado. Cancelad0!)

Here’s the clip. Put it to use and have a great work week.