miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2015

Cashew the Mouse

In a heartfelt attempt to prove her love to me, my cat Necia honored me a few weeks ago with a very special gift. Nothing spells love like a freshly killed warm dead mouse next to your semi-naked sleepy body at 3:35 in the morning. I jumped out of bed when I realized that I was sleeping next to a dead rodent and as fast as I could I opened the entrance's door for my apartment and ran outside to the hallway. Semi-naked, shaking and petrified from what just had happened I stood still for at least thirty minutes incapable of coming back inside. Why would I? There was a monster over my 500 thread Egyptian cotton sheets!

Necia followed me to the hallway and stood next to me with a peculiar and surprised look in her face as in: "What happened mom? You didn't like the color?" I didn't want to appear like an ungrateful human so I held her in my arms and reassure her that her gift was the most thoughtful and sweet present I have ever received! Also, she was the only object at hand to cover my naked mammary glands.

After the initial shocking reaction started to faint my sleepy and sometimes juvenile brain began drawing possible scenarios on how to solve the conundrum at hand. These solutions included but were not limited to:
  1. Go downstairs half naked using Necia as a bra and ask the concierge for help: Pros: I didn't have to deal with the monster over my bed. Cons: Nudity. (I can't believe I am listing Nudity as a negative thing. What is wrong with this world!)
  2. Knock on my neighbor's door: I moved into this building in February and I still don't know who lives next door. As far as I know he can be a psychopath or my next husband. Or both. Pros: I get to know my neighbor. Extra points for being half naked ;) Cons: Possible very bad first impression.  
  3. Call my I.C.E. (in case of emergency contact): Is this really worth waking some innocent soul at four in the morning? Yes. This is what I consider an emergency! I am terrified of rodents! Pros: Some other person takes care of the 2" monster laying breathless over my bed. Cons: I would most certainly lose my I.C.E. contact, for good. 
  4. Call an ex: Pros: None. Cons: All.
  5. Get some balls and go inside and take care of the problem myself: Does this mean that I need to face my fears rather than running away from them? Do I look like a grown up?! (FYI: At this point almost two hours had gone by and I was still petrified of coming back inside). Pros: I really don't see anything positive about putting a dead mouse inside a plastic bag. Cons: A dead mouse inside a plastic bag.
As tempting as Options #1 thru #4 sounded, I chose Option #5. I "manned up" and started walking back inside to face my worst nightmare. First I strategically placed an empty plastic bag next to the poor little thing (at this point I started somehow to feel compassion for this mouse) hoping for his body to miraculously jump inside the bag. Obviously this did not happen, so I grabbed my broom and as I stood as far away as possible from the crime scene I pushed his breathless little body into the bag. Then I lifted the bag with the far end of the broom stick and I walked for what seemed like a mile to the garbage room where I threw his body down the chute. Walking back to my apartment I felt like a heroine for being able to take care of business by myself but also a little ridiculous for blowing this issue out of proportion. Is a dead mouse worth losing a good two hours of beauty sleep? Probably not.

Cashew's death (after everything this mouse and I had gone thru he deserves to have a name) taught me an important lesson in life: my "problems", my "fears", my "worst nightmares" are basically a matter of perception. If instead of looking at the "problem" from the usual point of view we chose for once to look at things from a different perspective ("Gloria, it's just a tiny little dead mouse and not a monster"), we will start to notice that reality sometimes needs to be revised because our conditioned self ("I am afraid of rodents therefore I have to run away from this beast!") is the source of it. Cashew also reminded me that one of the best decisions I have made in my life is to have adopted Necia fourteen years ago. I provide her with food and love and in exchange she vomits over my rugs and keeps uninvited guests at bay. I have never seen her as a pest control method, but God bless her and her fast feline reflexes!

Sorry Cashew, after all the stressful moments I'm sure Necia put you through you were indeed a beautiful gift. Now that I know that I can take care of any of your family members all by myself  (with Necia's help, fine!) I know I can conquer the world!

martes, 15 de septiembre de 2015

50 Things that make me Happy :)

  1. Putting almond butter on anything and everything.
  2. Sabado Gigante on Saturday evenings. 
  3. The Ocean. I just love the gentle and mellow yet powerful nature of the waves. I am sure that one day I will live by the sea.
  4. Waking up every morning at 5:53am sans alarm. Sometimes I go back to sleep, but the idea of my brain being so punctual just mesmerizes me!
  5. Getting a foam mustache with green tea latte. 
  6. Necia my cat.
  7. Necia walking on a leash in the park. We've made so many friends!
  8. Necia massaging my belly. 
  9. Mister Softee's melody. 
  10. Dancing! Specially salsa. Can't get the Cali out of the girl.
  11. Dogs in elevators. They are always so happy to see you come in, even if they have never met you before. Why can't we wag our tails at strangers the way dogs do? The world would be such a better place.
  12. The smell of freshly brewed coffee.
  13. Avocados.
  14. Barré Burn classes. Yes, that shit burns your butt! The good burn tho...
  15. Old ladies with extravagant outfits. 
  16. Smiling at strangers. 
  17. When a stranger smiles back at me. Extra points if the stranger happens to be male and handsome ;)
  18. The Temple of Dendur at The Metropolitan Museum
  19. Barnes and Noble in Union Square. I can spend hours there browsing at books. 
  20. Facials, massages, hair washes...you get the idea.
  21. The first kiss and all the subsequent kisses.
  22. This song. 
  23. The scent of fresh lilies. 
  24. Hitting zeroes on the scale at the salad bar (freak!)
  25. Buying socks.
  26. Practicing yoga.
  27. Playing futbol. 
  28. My mom's lentil's soup.
  29. Washington Square Park early in the morning.
  30. My birthday!
  31. Listening to audio books. Now I am into Eckhart Tolle, not only he's one of the best spiritual teachers of this century but his mellow voice has the capacity to relax me like no other. 
  32. Coconut popsicles! 
  33. Coconut body cream.
  34. Drinking piña colada by the poolside of the Standard Hotel in Miami. Pure bliss! 
  35. Soap bubbles.
  36. Snowboarding! Yay!
  37. Fresh laundry scent.
  38. Ginger cookies. 
  39. Croissants with black coffee. In Paris. 
  40. Napping in the park after lunch in the middle of a summer work day.
  41. New York City. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 
  42. People that don't give a crap about what others think. Today I saw a girl wearing a Wonder Woman cape walking down 5th Avenue. She didn't think she was Wonder Woman, she was indeed Wonder Woman!
  43. Squirrels a.k.a. the fancy rodents. They look all elegant running around the park like a rat with a fur coat. 
  44. Getting a cold shower in the middle of a hot summer day.
  45. Burning incense. Dragon Blood scent to be more exact. 
  46. Dreaming that I fly.
  47. Waking up from a bad dream and realize it was a nightmare. Phew!
  48. When the Starbucks barista draws a smiley face next to my name.
  49. Taking off my shoes when i get home, and my socks, basically getting rid of all clothing!
  50. Guava and mozzarella cheese sandwiches. FYI this is my specialty, so feel free to stop by anytime soon. Meeting with friends is my all-time favorite thing that makes me happy!

martes, 8 de septiembre de 2015

Eternal Summer 2015

Au Revoir Summer!

Thanks for everything you brought us. Good luck in southern latitudes and I hope you miss us so much that you come next year a little earlier full of life and beautiful energy. 
As a South American girl living in New York you know how much I miss you when you are not around. However, I must admit that I have developed a strange love affair with your colleague, Mr. Winter. But don't get jealous, you are still my one and only!

Love you always,


Amateur life guards provided to you by Guachafita Productions

Infinitas gracias a Guachafita Films & Co. por las fotos, las risas, la compañía, y el inmenso amor que me han brindado por años. Love you guys, let's keep this eternal summer in our hearts for ever. 

martes, 1 de septiembre de 2015

We are Love

"If every eight-year-old in the world is thought meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation". Dalai Lama

We might not be eight-year-old any more but we still have time to make the world a better place (and our own minds!) It's not too complicated, start small. Just find five minutes a day (if you want to stay in stillness more time that's even better), sit down quietly and breathe. Pay attention to the air coming in and out. Don't force anything and allow the thoughts to pass by as they please. Don't judge your feelings. Just observe them. Promise me you will do it, and after you are done go out there and smile at a stranger. Go ahead! Make me proud!

jueves, 27 de agosto de 2015

Love letter to New York City

Dear New York City,

I recently moved to a beautiful studio apartment near Washington Square Park. The location is great, the building couldn’t be prettier (it has an elevator! Thank you for that), and overall the place is fabulous; but TINY! Tiny as in 300 square feet tiny. This of course shouldn't come as a surprise to you since you are used to people paying obscene amounts of money for petite spaces just to be able to call you "home".

I'm not writing to complain about my apartment. You and I have shared a beautiful on and off relationship for the past sixteen years. You thought me the meaning of unconditional love, otherwise I could not explain why on earth I would put up with your brutal winters, your humid and sticky summers, and your many times rude behavior if it wasn't for the fact that I love you. I just wanted to share with you how living in 300 square feet of wood flooring, Gypsum board walls and windows has changed my persona.

Living in such a small place turned me into a neat freak. When you have to share 300 square feet with a feline, when your bicycle encroaches into your kitchen, and when your "living room", "dining room", "bedroom", and "TV room" are all the same space you have to take organization to a whole new level. Remember that box full of music CD's that I kept holding onto when I was living in Brooklyn? Gone. How about those four pillows and comforters I used to keep on the unreachable upper shelf of my coat closet (what a luxury that is!) in my two-bedrooms two-bathrooms Philadelphia's flat that my guests enjoyed so many times? Gone. I even had to get rid of the guests* because quite honestly New York, they don't fit inside my place. Basically, I got rid of absolutely EVERY single item that wasn't essential to my survival.

Sometimes is difficult to understand that the purpose of relationships is to teach us lessons, and you my dear city had been the best teacher. You thought me how good it feels to live with less "stuff", to consume less, to appreciate more, and to realize that there's really no need (or available space!) to have twenty pair of shoes when you can only wear one pair at a time. Om sweet Ommmmmmm!

I hope we keep sharing many more years full of adventures and happy memories. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of your history and thank you for all the good things you've been providing me with for the past sixteen years. My apartment -and my 5'-5" petite body- are living proof that all good things come in small packages (size does matter after all!).

With love,


*Unless we are talking about a handsome male guest, in which case one shall make a huge effort and for once be hospitable and allow said guest to spend the night even if that means that the cat has to sleep outside by the hallway.

jueves, 20 de agosto de 2015

The Blog is back!

I decided to create a blog a few years ago out of pure boredom. I'm not going to lie -I was sitting in front of my computer back in 2011 and the only productive things I was doing were using oxygen and warming my chair. So I started blogging. And for many months (maybe years), it was my escape valve. The main idea behind the blog was to write about the things I love. In its early days I wrote about fashion, architecture, art, my cats, my trips, etc. Things were fabulous, I had a writing routine, I had a great photographer -whom decided to quit shortly after I started, but let's leave the details of that story for another entry- and inspiration was flowing freely. Life was a wave, and I was riding it like a pro.

Little did I know my "perfect" routine was about to go bananas and the universe was ready to deal me a hard slap. Now, to be fair, slapping doesn't necessarily need to be a bad thing, depending on your perspective, but the change was still a huge, unexpected turn in my life, and I was not prepared for it.  The things and relationships I thought I would never lose were gone in a very short period of time and I was left with the last precious thing a human being can posses: myself (And also my cats ;)).

But I'm back from my hiatus and like The Phoenix I'm arising from the ashes. I'm going to start writing again -just like before, about the things I love the most. Some of my priorities might have changed a little bit, and in addition to fashion, architecture, art, my cat, and my trips, I'm also going to try and add one more thing: relationships. I'm in no way an expert -but you know what? My heart has been on a wild ride during the past three years, and I think I've graduated with honors from Relationships for Dummies 101: How To Forgive, Be Compassionate, and Let Go. So to all of you out there struggling with a difficult relationship, trust me on something: You are not alone, -This too shall pass. Change your perspective if you can, even if just a little, and trust that this situation is a blessing in disguise. You might just not see it yet.

I'm also becoming my own photographer until I can find someone who can fill Coco's shoes. Those shoes are going to be very difficult to fill, but if you have time to spare, or if you're just as bored as a monkey on a bonsai tree call me, text me, email me, let's have dinner, let's interact!

I'm still not sure where this blog (or life) will take me. I get antsy sometimes and often wish I had a DeLorean time machine like in Back to the Future to be able to see where the wave I call life is sweeping me, but certain things can't be rushed. You need to trust the universe and its divine timing. You can't rush a plant to give you a flower, -it only happens when its ready. But when it happens, it's a miracle. Such is life.

So consider this the un-official re-launching ceremony of The Guayaba Project. Let's agree to inscribe this important event in the record of human history as "The Dawning of the Era of The Guayaba Project 2.0". Let the progeny of my boredom spread its wings and fly. Let the madness continue!

martes, 20 de enero de 2015

My Moral Dilemma

Did I tell you that my dad was a veterinarian? Did I tell you that we grew up surrounded by animals (the non-human type)? I guess I like to emphasize this chapter in my life as it defined many of the principles that I conform to nowadays. Most Colombian families eat meat for lunch everyday, otherwise the meal is consider to be "incomplete". My family wasn't the exception; but I was never a meat lover. I never enjoyed the taste of it and I always liked animals a lot, to the point where I couldn't enjoy eating them. At a very early age I started questioning why we respected the lives of some animals and not others. Why was the life of a dog more valuable than that of a pig? Why couldn't we raise a chicken as the family pet? Who gave us the power to decide what animals we eat and what animals we keep as pets? Aren't we a little too anthropocentric? My mom and dad sure regretted bringing me to this world. 

I had the perfect profile for a vegan animal lover. And I actually made drastic changes in my life to accommodate my deep love for our furry friends. I limited my meat intake to once a week (see side note A) and as soon as I could afford my own groceries I started buying only free-range-kind-of-happy-life-happy-animal meat. But the moral dilema of my insatiable love for leather goods (e.g. shoes! See side note B) remains in my brain like a piece of bubblegum stuck in my hair. This dilema tends to grow snow-ball-style every time I visit farms where I can enjoy the company of this gigantic and beautiful animals that we nonchalantly refer to as cows

What can an animal lover do with a love affair with fancy leather goods? Ignore the fact that those Ferragamo shoes that I flirtatously refer to as "lovers"  come from a beautiful calf? Close my eyes and apply the out of sight out of mind principle? As of now dear readers I don't have an answer to this dilema. To promise never to buy leather goods again, sadly is an assertion that I'm not ready to abide by just yet.  However,  after spending a whole day in the country side with Celeste, Penelope, Carlota and her baby, Rosina, Turrón the bull, and a couple of gossipy cows that came to see who the new human was, I have made the conscious decision of buying less often and smarter (i.e. better quality), and when given the option, I'm choosing non-animal products over leather (Stella McCartney I heart you deeply). 

Before leaving the farm I secretly whispered in Rosina's ear the following: "I love you, please forgive me". Did I tell you I love animals? 

Side Note A: When I say meat I mean pig, cow, turkey, fish or chicken. The thought of eating any other animal disgusts me. Is it really necessary to eat frogs, bunnies, or guinea pigs? I don't think so. Foie Gras lovers....go fly a kite. 

Side Note B: I don't buy fur or any other animal material (i.e. sheep skin, dog or cat fur. Damn you Ugg boots!). My dilema is only and purely with leather a.k.a. cow's skin. Any other animal byproduct is off limits. 

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"
― Mahatma Gandhi
"El Tabor" My family farm, a wonderful place where I can connect to nature and enjoy its greatness. 
Thank you my beautiful cow models for being so gentle and allowing me to hang out with you :)

jueves, 15 de enero de 2015

Cali, "La sucursal de cielo"

Santiago de Cali is also known as heaven's branch (to be more technical it's more or less heaven's main subsidiary office). As I type this, I realize that it makes no sense in English, but in Spanish this beautiful nickname has been part of many artistic manifestations including the lyrics of a very catchy and popular song called "Cali Pachanguero", which has been embedded into the DNA of many generations (including my own) as the insignia song of our lovely city. 

Cali adopted me as a bastard child when I was very young. I was born in Santa Fé de Bogotá (Colombia's capital) and lived there for a few years before my family and I moved to the world's Salsa Capital, city where I spent most of my life before heading to New York City-and Philly-fifteen years ago. Am I a "Caleña"? A New Yorker? A "Rola"? All of the above? I like to define myself as a Bogota born "Caleña" living an on and off very passionate love affair with the Capital of the world. My dad's family was from a small town call Pereira and my mom's family is from Ibagué. My accent when I speak either English or Spanish as you can imagine is quite particular.

I met some of my closest friends in Cali. I can spend countless hours telling you wonderful stories about Claudia, Mónica Perea, Felipe, Angela, Ana, Jose Pablo, Maria Isabel, Paola, Camilo, Andrea, Ricardo, Friend (a.k.a. Jenny), CoCo, and a whole bunch of beautiful people that have made my life a rich experience and whom somehow defined who I am today. Every year I try to come back to Cali even for a couple of days just to spend priceless moments with this very special group of humans. Every time I see them is as if time hasn't passed by. I still get the same happy feeling similar to the first day I tried avocado and key lime ice cream: pure bliss ;)

So Cali, Thank you one more time for the craziness, the madness, the love, the friendship, the scorching hot weather that only makes the experience more intense, the lovely breeze, the delicious aguardiente, Río Pance, the mangoes, the beautiful people, Delirio, the lighting show, the helpful staff at this very cool place, and above all thank you for adopting me as one of your own, to me you will always and forever be my sucursal del cielo. 

All pictures by Guachafita Productions (a.k.a. secret male collaborator #2)
Location: Paseo del Río Light Show.
Beautiful vintage dress coming straight from my aunt's closet. 

martes, 13 de enero de 2015

Happy Tuesday! and Wednesday!

..and Thursday, and while you are it happy Friday!
And let's don't forget the weekend!
Wait and how about happy Monday? (Did you forget about this already?)
(God damn it just have a happy life!)
Thanks to my beautiful partners in crime. I love you all.