When One Grows #WeAllGrow #ThriftThursday

This post has been sitting as a draft for 17 days now. Seventeen days – that’s a record for me to start something and not get back to finishing it!  But there’s a reason.  At the end of February I attended a conference called the ‘We All Grow Summit‘.  Created by the brainchild behind Latina Bloggers Connect, I didn’t want to miss the chance to see how far Ana and the rest of her team have come (I’ve known and worked with them here and there for years) – and because I know they’re all perfectionist, no-nonsense type of women, I knew the conference would be a huge learning opportunity for me as a creative.  All that said, I still can’t quite fully put into words what a wonderful experience it was!

We All Grow Summit

Group shot of the WAG team. And there’s me front right. Sweatshirt by American Eagle $3.99, Pants brand unknown $3


Green dress by Zara $4.99

*Photos by Robson Muzel and #WeAllGrow Summit 2015

While there I got to talk to some very influential people about my beloved Gringa Latina (no, I won’t spill the beans yet) and told a few others about my Thrift Thursday obsession (and in true form, all of the outfits I wore were thrift store finds). But the coolest thing of all was being in the room as SO MANY successful, powerful, independent business women. The fact that they were all Latinas was just the icing on the cake.  These women are all out there doing their thing – whether it’s writing blogs, traveling the world, hosting shows, acting, creating YouTube content – and it’s amazing! Hearing their stories and picking their brains about how they do what they do, now THAT is what makes a conference worth attending.


Me and Rachel AKA The Art Muse. My dress is by Vero Moda $4.99

Here’s to coming back bigger and better…and perhaps sharing my own success stories…next year!


My Latest Finds #ThriftThursday

Last week I went to my favorite Goodwill in search of a regular, plain ol’ maxi dress, the kind that you can wear out on a casual stroll or dress up with the right accessories.  I’ve been looking for one without any luck, so I assumed this trip wouldn’t yield any results.  Well, not only did I find the maxi that I wanted in black, but I found a second one in red, along with a Zara dress, a Vero Moda dress (which is what? a slightly higher quality than Forever 21?) and a blouse…all for $32!

So what if it's a photo of a pile of clothes, I'll post pics of me wearing them soon enough!

So what if it’s a photo of a pile of clothes, I’ll post pics of me wearing them soon enough!

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Red Carpet Ready, Every Day #DivinaLatina

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Unilever and Latina Bloggers Connect. 


Glamour, lights, excitement . . . not exactly! The truth is, as much as I enjoy my job and all that it entails, I thrive on doing work but not so much on those things that are required of me when the camera’s not rolling – I’m talking red carpets and photoshoots; sure that’s all well and fun, but those things can be rather nerve racking. Edit that: VERY nerve racking. What do I wear? How should I do my hair? WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?!

Vianessa Castanos B&W

Photographer: John Mokhtarei
Stylist: Izumi Marie Rosas
Makeup: Vianessa Castanos

Seriously, what am I supposed to do with my hands?

I’ve started working with a stylist, but when it comes to my hair and makeup I tend to do it myself unless I’m going for something highly stylized that I may not have experience with. That being said, I now have a full on professional makeup case full of goodies and I regularly buy new color palettes and tools of the trade to experiment with. Those experiments can add up to a lot of money. Fortunately for me, my favorite foundation is inexpensive and is carried at CVS, so it’s always easy to find and doesn’t hurt my budget. Same with my hair stuff. You may recall that I like to style my hair using TRESemmé Keratin Smooth (another awesome find).


Well you too can look ‘Red Carpet Ready Every Day’ while saving when you become a Divina Latina.  Divina Latina beauty products are available at CVS/pharmacy and are eligible for special ExtraBucks Rewards. Every $50 you spend on beauty products at CVS/pharmacy gets you $5 ExtraBucks.   So you can stock up on all your beauty  needs and save!

Which is what I’m about to run off and do . . . again!



Insane. That’s the only way I can describe the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been meeting with my production team and doing a lot of writing on a totally awesome super secret (for now) project. I haven’t had time for anything else, which I suppose is a good thing since I love to work work work!

One thing I certainly don’t have time for is texting while driving.  Ain’t NOBODY got time for that! The other night I went bowling with some girlfriends at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, an evening of fun hosted by AT&T where we got schooled on just how dangerous it is to text and drive.  I think we have the tendency to think that teenagers are the only culprits, but it’s all of us that fall into the trap of thinking that whatever it is  we have to say can’t wait a few minutes.


Join me and AT&T and take the pledge starting right now to not text while driving.  It’s dangerous and downright selfish.  And if you need any more encouragement to put your phone down while you’re behind the wheel, just take a look at this video:


Birthdays and Hot Days

This post is part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of Latina Bloggers Connect and the makers of ZYRTEC®

Hey Los Angeles, what gives?! I went to the track this morning to run my sprints and almost died.  Okay, I didn’t almost die but I could very well have suffered a heat stroke.  When I got back to my car, my thermostat read 104 degrees.  One Hundred and Four . . . in late August . . . which is sort of the beginning of fall . . . AND IT WASN’T EVEN NOON YET!!. I’ve never been a fan of the heat, but I like it even less when I’m in the midst of an allergic reaction.  I’ve been breaking out in hives and recently, my bottom eye lids have been itching like crazy.  The kicker is that the heat makes it feel worse and I don’t know what I’m allergic to!

Not one to let allergies diminish my fabulousness, I consulted Carmen Ordoñez for some pointers on how to play off my ailments.  My favorite tip to help reduce the appearance of ALLERGY FACE™: place a cold, damp cloth on your face for 10 minutes.  I’ve done this for years and I like my towels ice cold (I put them in the freezer for a bit . . . I also love ice baths, I’m weird).

Created in partnership with the makers of ZYRTEC®, Carmen shares her simple do-it-yourself beauty solutions to help women tackle allergy-related beauty challenges. Check it out:

This past weekend I celebrated my great-grandmother’s 100th birthday! ALLERGY FACE™? Ain’t nobody got time for that!



My Siblings and I at My Great-grandmother’s Party


H2O Music Festival

First there was N*Sync (with P!nk) in 2000. Then there was Demi Lovato earlier this year. In short, my concert-going experiences have been the stuff of prepubescent dreams! Well that all changed this weekend thanks to Covergirl who invited me to check out the H2O Music Festival.



Vianessa and Becky G

Me and Becky G

Frankie J

Frankie J got mobbed

Big Boi

Big Boi performed, to the envy of my friends in the dirty!

Prince Royce put on a great show . . . while my cell phone was charging. A Tribe Called Quest and Pitbull were both on the lineup as well.  And I really wanted to see Tribe, alas, six hours in the sun did me in and I ended up leaving before they took the stage.  Hey, don’t judge me – a girl needs her beauty rest!

And for all you music lovers, Becky G is touring this fall; the lil’ lady gets hype with her rapping and singing self, so you’ll want to check her out if you can!



Saving Face (from Allergies)

This post is part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of Latina Bloggers Connect and the makers of ZYRTEC®

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and my face is . . . blotchy?! That’s right folks, it’s allergy season, which means we all have to deal with the dreaded ALLERGY FACE™! I’ve always considered myself lucky in that I don’t suffer allergies as badly as some people I know, but I’m not immune to the watery eyes, runny nose and flushed skin that seem to strike out of nowhere. 

The biggest issue I face during allergy season is eye redness.  I wear contact lenses (when I’m not wearing my beloved glasses) and I honestly thing that they are allergen magnets – or at least they attract the LA smog like no one’s business.  So that I don’t look like I’m suffering from a bout of rabies, I like to carry eye drops with me at all times.  But, if you suffer from different allergy symptoms, such as skin redness or puffiness, watch this video clip for tips on how to take control of your allergy face and still look amazing:

Check back for more tips from beauty and fashion expert Carmen Ordoñez, @VivaFashion, who has teamed up with the makers of ZYRTEC® to share her personal beauty tips to combat ALLERGY FACE™ !


East Los High on Hulu

It has recently come to my attention that my TV show ‘East Los High’ has been picked up as a Hulu Exclusive Series and will will start airing on Hulu starting June 3rd! I play a doctor on this show based on the relationships and growing pains of teens coming of age in East L.A.  Please keep up with the show on the following social media channels and tune in when it airs!

East Los High


1) Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EastLosHigh

2) Twitter (@EastLosHighShow) https://twitter.com/EastLosHighShow

3) Website/trailer http://eastloshigh.com/

4) Tumblr: http://eastloshigh.tumblr.com/

And in another bit of good news, yesterday I got word that I booked a role in a major motion picture!  It also happened to be my birthday, and I can’t think of a better gift to have received!


What’s Beautiful?

The most subjective question known to man: What’s Beautiful? In order to redefine what society has forced down our throats as the stereotypical idea of what it means to be feminine, Under Armour has once again launched a campaign encouraging women to create their own definition of the female athlete.  The What’s Beautiful 3.0 campaign gives women a platform to establish personal fitness goals and hold themselves, and eachother, accountable for achieving them.  I have been a feminist since I can remember, and as a lover of fitness, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved.

Under Armour

I like to push myself to my limit.  Notice, I said MY limit.  Although I look to others for inspiration, I try not to compare myself because we all have different strengths and goals.  So for me, I decided to push myself to achieve something I’ve never done before.  My goal is two-fold: first, I want to be able to do a split.  Sounds juvenile, but it’s been something that I’ve NEVER been able to do.  I have the tightest hamstrings in the world, and I worry that my inflexibility might lead to injuries (like when I pulled a hammie a few weeks back).  My second goal: to get down to 14% body fat.  This one obviously goes hand in hand with doing bikini competitions.

So how do you define beauty?  And are you ready to join me and Under Armour to set new fitness goals? Let’s do this!


Talk, Thursday, Tonsils

Today is Thursday, I have tonsilitis, and 2 weeks ago I was invited as a VIP guest of ‘The Talk’ on CBS.  That makes this a recap post . . . or a Sesame Street Episode (brought you by the letter ‘T’)!!

In case the clip doesn’t play, here are me and ze’ bloggers:
We got fancy skin care gifts:

I think someone told them I love to cook:

What I wore:
And how I feel today:

I’m being a real baby because I rarely get sick, so I don’t know what to do with myself! But, I guess I gotta deal with it and go workout now because I have a photoshoot for a magazine coming up in a few days. See ya!