May 30, 2017

What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

Summer wedding season is right around the corner and I actually have a few lined up that have left me thinking--what in the world am I going to wear? For a beach wedding, it's important to think of comfort. I personally love a long flowy chiffon dress for a beach wedding. The length gives it that touch of elegance without sacrificing comfort. I purchased this one online from Lulu's in red and can't wait for it to get here. It also comes in different colors. For a beach wedding you also can't go wrong with prints or other bright colors. Oh and don't forget to bring back-up shoes, especially if you'll be walking in the sand. Havaianas has a great Swarovski collection right now that I'm loving.  

Where to Buy:
Red Maxi Dress, Lulu's, $179
Scalloped Clutch, Charming Charlie, $39
Ankle Strap Sandals, Nordstrom, $59
Dangling Earrings, Charming Charlie, $14
Stone Bracelet, Charming Charlie, $14
Swarovski Sandals, Havaianas, $50





Here are a few others that would be perfect for a beach wedding




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May 29, 2017

The 13 Best Travel Apps for Your Next Adventure



By Contributing Writer, Liz de La Nuez, Chasing Liv

Last year I attended one of the most popular travel conferences in beautiful Bloomington, Minnesota, and I learned about some of the top travel apps and sites perfect for travelers. These are some of my favorites and with summer vacation right around the corner, families everywhere are planning their summer vacations. So, now is the perfect time to download some of these apps and get to traveling! 

Favorite Travel Apps for Planning: 

Hopper App-This app tracks and scans air travel rates so you don’t have to. We’ve been tracking flights to Dominican Republic lately and this app keeps us constantly updated on the prices. It checks airline prices and even predicts when prices will most likely be at their lowest! It can advise on when the prices are most likely to change, as well as the best time to buy a ticket. It notifies you when prices drop and whether you should “hop” on it, or wait. You can even book the flights via the app! 

TripAdvisor App-TripAdvisor really is the quintessential travel planning app! We don’t book anything without consulting with TripAdvisor first. They have reviews, ratings and customer photos, so it’s no wonder why they are a favorite amongst travelers. We have stayed at several home rentals found on TripAdvisor and haven’t once been disappointed.

Airfarewatchdog- Similar to Hopper, this is a tool to help travelers stay updated on flight prices. Since flight prices can fluctuate quite frequently, this app will alert you when they do. Especially when they are reasonably (as in a big drop in price!) discounted! Unless your full-time job is to look out for flight prices, then an app such as this one can save you tons of time and money.

TripHobo- This will create a customized travel itinerary for your trip. You add your destination and this app will arrange the attractions for you. The best part is that you can also see other people’s itineraries and just adjust them to your liking. It’s also great for when you know where you want to visit, but need suggestions on what to see while you’re there.

Roadtrippers-This is for all of us road trip junkies! You choose your destination and then you add attractions, restaurants, etc. to your itinerary. Once it has your information it customizes a map for your trip highlighting those spots.

Packpoint- So much goes into my packing and gearing up for a trip, but still there is always something I forget! So, this app takes away some of that stress from the traveler. When using this app, you simply create a trip profile that includes your destination, length of stay and reason for travel. Packpoint then creates a packing and luggage checklist for you. You can even combine it with TripIt.

Roomer-Things come up, and unfortunately trips and reservations sometimes have to get canceled last minute. I know it’s happened to us, and having to fork up money for a reservation that you did not use is no fun. This app allows you to book hotel rooms at BIG discount prices from other Roomer users that have had to cancel their trips. Also, if you get stuck with a hotel reservation that you can’t use, you can sell it to other Roomer users via the app.


Apps to use while you’re there: 

Cool Cousin-You know how you wish you knew a friend at every city that you visit, in order to get the inside scoop on the best hot spots? Well this app does just that. You can go on there and search up recommendations and suggested “must-dos” from actual locals! You get to connect with locals who share your same interests and can direct you to their favorite spots. This way, you can get a real feel for the city and not just the touristy parts.

Run Go-No matter where our travels take us, my husband always goes for a run. So, naturally this is an awesome app for all the traveling runners like himself. This serves like a navigation aid that allows the runner to find safe jogging routes in unfamiliar cities. The best part is that runners can opt for the premium subscriber’s access guided tours where they have a tour guide of scenic parts and points of interest.

XE Currency-Traveling abroad takes a lot of preparation and knowledge, and being aware about the currency rates are a must. This app is everything that you’ll need in order to stay on top of currency and exchange rates. My favorite part is that it stores rates of currencies that you’ve already looked up, so that they are available to you offline.

Mobile Passport-When traveling to the U.S., Mobile Passport is officially authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and it lets you skip the regular line to enter the country! You download the app and enter your passport information and you’re ready to go. I like this to have as a precautionary, in case you lose your passport. Just check with your airport ahead of time to be sure that it is acceptable.

Google Translate-Traveling to a city where you don’t speak the language can be a bit unnerving. When we traveled to Paris, as exciting as it was, we couldn’t even read the street signs! You can get translations via photo which works for signs and menus, plus you can use it even when you don’t have internet. This kind of app is a must when traveling to a city where you don’t speak the language. It’s also way faster than flipping through a pocket dictionary!

WhatsApp-When traveling abroad, communicating with loved ones back home can get rather pricey. If you have WiFi you can use this app to send messages, photos, voice clips and videos! Have family and friends download the app as well in order to communicate with each other.


You can check out more of Liz's writing on her blog, Chasing Liv, where she covers everything from fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel. 



Image source: popsugar




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May 26, 2017

Beauty: Breaking Down Popular Skin-Care and Beauty Myths with Dr. Barba



With summer around the corner, women are looking for ways to best prep their skin for the hottest time of year, so they can flaunt their summer ready skin with no worries. Dove spokesperson, beauty expert, and dermatologist Dr. Alicia Barba wants to ensure you don’t forget to care for the most visible and largest organ of your body – your skin! I've been seeing Dr. Barba for the past 10 years and she really is amazing. She's helped my skin so much, especially when I was facing hormonal acne.

Below she shares her top popular skincare myths this season, along with her best advice on how to look and feel your best this season and always.

Myth: “Since I’m Latina with olive or darker skin tone, I’m not as risk for skin cancer”

Truth: A common misconception in skincare in women of color is that we are immune to getting skin cancer and that we do not need yearly skin exams. This is not true and in fact, skin cancer in Latino patient populations in the US is on the rise. The American Academy of Dermatology has developed specific out reach for the Latino Community and says: “People of all races and colors can develop skin cancer. When skin cancer develops in people with darker skin, it is often diagnosed at a later stage, especially melanoma.” The golden rule: WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY! Your skin is the largest human organ, and it is the most visible. No matter what season we’re in, know that the skin constantly absorbs ultraviolet aging rays like a sponge, which then damage your DNA, collagen and cause pigment abnormalities later in life.

Myth: “There is nothing I can do about my dark spots since I'm prone to them.”

Truth: Women of color are definitely more prone to hyperpigmentation due to unknown genetic factors that cause the melanocyte to produce more localized pigment when exposed to sun, hormones or inflammation.. However, we can take preventative measures like not picking at acne or bites, and use sunblock to avoid spots from getting worse. Prevention is key!

Myth: “I can’t wash my face with the same cleanser I use on my body.”

Truth: Everyone loves a dual action product, and certain cleansers are gentle enough to care for both your face and body. As the #1 Dermatologist recommended skin cleansing bar, Dove Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin provides superior care over premium cleansing bars. Its ¼ moisturizing cream and gentle formula will leave your skin soft, smooth, and does not dry skin like soap can. Bonus tip: save space when traveling this season by using this beauty bar to wash your face & body, your skin will thank you!

Myth: “My diet doesn’t have an impact on my skin.”

Truth:  Many of the fried fast foods found in our ethnic communities not only contribute to weight problems but skin problems too. Although diet related skin conditions are hard to quantify, I always say, if it is affecting your waist line, affecting the arteries in your heart, you can be sure it is affecting your skin, the largest organ in the body.

It is best to learn how to modify the way we cook our favorite foods so that they have less fat and balance them with greens and low carbohydrate, high protein rich food like beans (boiled and "not refritos."

Myth: “Expensive skincare products are always better for you.”

Truth: Definitely not! There are many "active ingredients" that have been tried and tested and proven to work, that do not have to cost a lot of money. A good sunscreen can be less than $12, and the same goes for body washes and antiperspirants, a key essential as the weather heats up! One of my favorites is Dove Invisible Dry Spray, it provides 48-hour odor and wetness protection, ¼ moisturizers AND leaves no white marks on 100 colors of clothing all for under $6 – with those triple benefits, you get a real bang for your buck, while also caring for your skin.


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May 22, 2017

Viva Travels: My Weekend Guide to LA as a Seekender {Part 2}



A few weeks back, I shared with you Part I of my LA weekend guide as a Seekender with Hampton by Hilton (here it is in case you missed it) For today's installment, I'll be sharing with you what I did on my last day in LA.  The day before was pretty action packed with a trip to Santa Monica, Venice Beach and the Griffith Observatory. We knew we wanted to squeeze in as much as we could on our last day too.



We started off our day really early planning out what we wanted to do that day. First up was checking out the infamous Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame. Although it is very "touristy" it's one of those things you have to experience at least once. It's filled with souvenir shops, restaurants, as well as the TCL Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Andy loved seeing the people on the streets dressed in costumes from Spiderman to Mickey Mouse haha. 



/]\]


After walking around we decided to go inside the wax museum Madame Tussaud's. Andy got a kick out of dressing up with characters such as E.T. and posing with the wax figures (they had a great mix of wax characters from movie stars, musicians, super heroes to old school Hollywood stars).  It was pretty cool seeing how tall or short the celebrities really were. It's something fun to do if you're in Hollywood and have time (kids will enjoy it). Andy even made his own wax hand (which now sits on my office desk).






Andy's wax hand, holding up the number 4 (his age) 


Next up, we grabbed lunch in West Hollywood at a vegan Mexican restaurant called 'Gracias Madre.' If you know me, you know I'm always trying to find organic restaurants when I travel. This one was highly recommended. It's a hip spot in LA with indoor and outdoor seating (it's also a favorite among celebs like Jessica Alba). The place itself is very charming. The entire menu is 100% organic and made fresh daily. It's also from the same owners as Cafe Gratitude (another one of my favorite organic spots). They source most of their ingredients from the owners' organic farm.  I had the tacos made with barbecue "carnitas," which was actually jackfruit (the place is entirely vegan). It was a little bit spicy, but overall really good.




We finished up our last day with a walk around Beverly Hills, before heading back to our hotel. The next day our flight left in the morning. If you ever stay at a Hampton by Hilton make sure to take advantage of their On The Run Breakfast Bags, which you can find in the lobby. It's such a nice and thoughtful concept, especially when you don't have time to grab breakfast and want a little snack (especially when you're heading to the airport). It was packed with everything from a water bottle, fresh fruit and other goodies.




I hope my LA weekend guide has inspired you to go out there and be a Seekender yourself. Sometimes all you need is just a few days to really help you reset and feel reenergized. Besides, we all need a little break from our day to day every now and then and Hampton by Hilton makes it so easy.

Thank you so much to my friends at  Hampton by Hilton for letting me be part of their Ultimate Seekender Team and making this experience possible. I cherish every single memory we made on this trip.

You can book your own Seekender trip here. Stay tuned for my next adventure.... 








This post is brought to you by Hampton by Hilton. All opinions, as always, are my own. 



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May 16, 2017

Stylish Spring Outfits for all Budgets




By Writer, Liz de la Nuez, Chasing Liv

Spring has sprung here in my hometown and some may argue that the summer weather has actually skipped right over actual spring, because we are already having hot scorching 90 degree sunny days! 

But whatever the weather, I have gathered and styled three no-fuss spring outfits to add to your wardrobe this season. These are on-trend pieces that you can have fun with, without breaking the bank. Whether beach days or date night---no worries, I've got you covered.


Outfit #1


Outfit #2
Crop Top, $75


Outfit #3


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May 15, 2017

What I Wore: Instagram Outfits Recap






Hi guys, I thought I would start something a little different today on the blog and start a weekly recap of some of the outfits you've seen me wear on Instagram. This way it's easier for you to know what I was wearing. To start, here are a few outfits I've worn theses pasts months during my trip to Dominican Republic, LA and for a TV segment on Telemundo. Let me know what you think.




PS. The wrap cover-up is from Target, but currently sold out online (but you can still find it in stores)


A post shared by Carmen Ordoñez | Viva Fashion (@vivafashion) on


      
                                                                Lulus $58                                                   Target  $19                                                   






A post shared by Carmen Ordoñez | Viva Fashion (@vivafashion) on

Lulus, $98





                       

                                                           Nordstrom Rack $22                                 Asos $35
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May 11, 2017

Viva Travels: 6 Things to do at Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico


I recently had the opportunity to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico thanks to Caribe Hilton, which hosted me along with five other journalists. This was my third time visiting Puerto Rico, but my first time staying at the hotel. As soon as I arrived at San Juan airport and told my driver I was staying at Caribe Hilton, he couldn’t resist sharing some fun history about the hotel, including that it’s the place where the iconic Piña Colada was invented. How cool is that? I quickly realized there was so much history to this beautiful hotel, which first opened its doors in 1949. The hotel itself is modern and ranked among some of the top luxurious hotels in Puerto Rico.

The Room: My room was spacious, super clean and had the most beautiful views overlooking the ocean. I was also greeted with the most delicious fruit platter filled with lychees, starfruit, grapes and berries---so yummy.




{My view from my room}

In case you’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico soon, here are 7 things to do at Caribe Hilton:

1. Take a walk through their luscious gardens: Caribe Hilton has a beautiful tropical garden with peacocks, swans and so much more. I loved going here for a walk in the morning before starting my day.




 2. Go snorkeling or snuba diving: I’m always up for an adventure when I travel, and the best part is you don’t have to go too far at Caribe Hilton. They have onsite snorkeling and snuba diving. It was my first time going snuba diving and I really enjoyed it. We got to see (and touch) some pretty cool animals such as sea urchins, a starfish and a sea horse.



3. Relax at the pool: No beach getaway would be complete without spending time at the pool. This is always one of my favorite things to do. You can layout in one of their many poolside beds.



4. Squeeze in a workout at the gym: Alright, so maybe it’s just me, but I always like to squeeze in a workout during my travels, which is why the hotel gym is really important to me. I was really impressed with the fitness center at Caribe Hilton. It had everything from weights, cardio machines, to even a smith machine. It was also really spacious and they even offered free classes like yoga, ab workouts…etc.



5. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at their amazing restaurants: The food at Caribe Hilton was soooooo good. They serve up everything from Puerto Rican cuisine, fresh seafood, Italian classics and much more (they also have a Morton’s on-site). We got to meet with the executive chef, who had prepared some amazing dishes for us, including sweet plantain escabeche, chicken pinchos with a guava spiced rum bbq to a Tahiti lime mousse. What I really loved is that they source a lot of their ingredients from local farms and use several organic ingredients! Every morning I would have breakfast in their Palmeras restaurant, which had the most amazing fresh juices (from watermelon, soursop, tamarind to guava). I was in juice heaven.







6. Grab a piña colada: Oh and you can’t leave without trying a piña colada in their Caribar. You can try the original recipe which was created right there at the hotel in 1954 to global variations.


{Caribar}

Nearby entertainments/restaurants: A short one-minute walk away (literally) you’ll find Paseo Caribe, it’s a shopping plaza filled with restaurants, bars, boutiques and live entertainment. On one of the nights we got to enjoy a live concert and then grabbed dinner at Touro (a tapas restaurant) followed by some dancing. You can also grab a taxi to El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan) which is about 5-10 minutes away)



Overall, the feeling you get from this hotel is passion, family and love. Seriously, everyone there is so nice and friendly. I got to hear some beautiful stories, from “Pitito” the man that has been working there for 70+ years to the executive chef who first started at the hotel when he was in his teens and worked his way up. Not to mention, I got to make some beautiful friendships during this trip. Thank you SO much Caribe Hilton for having me. I enjoyed every minute of it.

{The Executive Chef with "Pitito"}




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May 10, 2017

A Viva Fashion {Site} Makeover



Hi guys! I'm so excited to share with you that Viva Fashion got a little website makeover. I had been meaning to change things up for a while and finally got around to doing so. We're still working out a few kinks, but I hope you're enjoying it so far. Hopefully it's a lot easier to navigate. If there's anything else you'd like to see, perhaps more personal posts, more steal her looks--whatever it is, feel free to leave me a comment below. I always love hearing from you.

Again, thanks for stopping by and just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for YOU!


xx,
Carmen


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May 8, 2017

Wrap Sandals {Under $50}



By Liz de la Nuez, Chasing Liv

How cute are these sandals for spring? I realize that I live in Miami where flip flops are the usual footwear of choice, but I personally prefer a pretty sandal instead. These are some of the loveliest wrap sandals that I have seen at really great prices. Number three are only $20 bucks! I like that they can really make a statement or I can keep it simple in a neutral shade.

This style isn't going anywhere soon, so don't be afraid to add some fun styles, and maybe even bold colors, to your shoe wardrobe. If I had to pick one I’d go with #6. What's your pick?


1. Blue Cross Lace Up Sandals // 2. Circus by Sam Edelman // 3.Chase & Chloe Yellow Sandals //   4. Soho Suede Wrap Sandals //5. Sam Edelman Cork Sandals //6. Pom-Pom Lace Up Sandals


P.S. You can check out more of Liz's writing on her blog, Chasing Liv, where she blogs about everything from motherhood, style, beauty and travel.


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May 4, 2017

{Video} Tips for Keeping Your Makeup Allergen Free


Allergy season is in full swing and many of you have probably already experienced your fair share of those annoying allergy symptoms (I know I have!) But did you know that sometimes your own makeup can be filled with allergens that can make your symptoms worse?

Last week, I was on Univision's Despierta America sharing some tips on how to keep you makeup clean and allergen free. Here's the segment in case you want to check it out. 
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May 2, 2017

Viva Travels: Where to Stay in Paris {La Trémoille}


A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit Paris for Valentine's Day. It was our first time there and it was everything we ever imagined and so much more. We stayed at La Trémoille, a five-star boutique hotel.  For us, the most important thing was location, and this hotel did not disappoint. It's centrally-located in a peaceful neighborhood in the heart of Paris' fashionable 8th arrondissement (near Champs-Élysées) and walking distance from some of Paris' must-sees from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe. In fact, on our first night in Paris, we decided to take a little walk from our hotel to the Eiffel Tour. There also several metro stations nearby, which we  took advantage of.

The hotel itself is also absolutely stunning. The next morning after arriving I stepped outside to the iron balcony and couldn't help but admire the view. It's that beautiful Paris view you see in the movies.



The Room: 
The room was spacious and cozy with a modern touch. I stayed on the 5th floor and you couldn't  hear a peep from the outside. The bathroom itself was also the perfect size and had a luxe feel with the marble finishes. It also included Molton Brown toiletries (typically carried by high-end retailers) in different fragrances. I never like to carry shampoo or conditioner on shorter trips, so I always count on the hotel's toiletries. I was happy to see these waiting for me in the bathroom. 

After walking the city all day, I was so excited to be back in this cozy bed. 





Breakfast: 
Our stay included breakfast, which is always huge perk when traveling. Every morning we would head down stairs to grab breakfast and fuel up. The breakfast was pretty complete, with everything from eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt, oh and my absolute favorite croissants!  I pretty much ate croissants with coffee every single day. They also had freshly-squeezed orange juice (another plus). 




Overall the staff was super helpful and the hotel was amazing. We loved staying here and can't wait to make another visit next year. In case you're looking for a place to stay in Paris, you can never go wrong with La Trémoille. Thanks so much for having us! 

Where
La Trémoille
14 Rue de la Tremoille
Paris, France 




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