Bloody shoes

I recently took my Christian Louboutins to the Leather Spa to repair the red sole. At first I didn’t really think I needed to replace them. However, after seeing the results I’m glad I did. Without a doubt owning a pair of Loubs is considered an investment. I don’t plan on buying replacements so its important to take care of them. I decided to try Leather Spa after some extensive research. They have various locations in midtown so I utilized the most convenient location which is Grand Central station.

Once you drop off the shoes the Leather Spa team examines them carefully. Honestly I was expecting to spend $35 per pair as advertised online. But, things started adding up once they pointed out what needed to be fixed. One pair costed $80 dollars to fix as they were boots. As much as it hurt I dropped them off and left. They called me back about two weeks later informing me the shoes were ready.

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I absolutely recommend repairing your Louboutins (or any other shoes). They did an amazing job and the shoes are basically spanking new. The cheapest way would be to protect the red sole as soon as you purchase a new pair. The less they have to repair the cheaper it cost to fix.

With love,

Ookaykaren

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What you need to know about the Harvey Weinstein scandal


In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal which was brought to light by a New York Times article- its apparent that speaking up about sexual harassment is still taboo.
Sexual misconduct in the work place is prevalent across every industry. But those who experience it often times remain silent in fear of consequences. Within the last month dozens of women have accused Harvey Weinsten of sexual harassment and rape. Actors such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne among many spoke up about the famous Hollywood producers improper behavior. So many questions arise as the accusations come to light. Why did it take so long to break the silence? Why are men in executive positions getting away with such disgusting behavior? It took one brave person to speak up to cause this ripple effect which continues to unfold.

Weinstein reportedly demanded sexual favors from actress in exchange of a promising career in Hollywood. Those who rejected the producers demands felt major backlash in their career. Although Weinstein has issued a public apology his reputation is tarnished.

Evidently Individuals in positions of power prey on inexperienced subordinates. It is easy for them to take advantage of those who want to make “it” in the industry. Harvey Weinstein historically was known for being inappropriate. But it took years for the victims to finally step forward.

Below are three tips on how to manage sexual harassment in the workplace:

Speak up – If you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you feel taken advantage of – confront the abuser. Let he or she know that their behavior is unacceptable. State that you will no longer tolerate disrespect but remain professional at all times. Remove yourself from that environment if possible.

Contact HR – Familiarize yourself with the HR partner – know your rights. Raise this issue to a human resources professional. Their purpose is to help and guide you through difficult work situations. Seek assistance from external counsel if necessary.

Document where possible – evidence is key – save all emails, phone logs and any other evidence that demonstrates sexual harassment. Having documentation will support your allegations if you decide to take legal measures.

Sexual harassment shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re ever in this situation please speak up as it can serve as an opportunity to raise awareness.

En la union esta la fuerza

On Tuesday September 19th, Mexico was hit with a second earthquake in two weeks. According to CNN the 7.1 magnitude earthquake ripped through the capital destroying schools, buildings and homes. People flooded the streets to grasp what was occurring. Unbeknownst to many both earthquakes were a result of the rupture of fault lines within the North American tectonic plate. 
The death toll to this date is roughly 320. Rescuers are relentlessly searching for survivors in hopes of saving lives. Watching the aftermath unfold on the tv is truly sad. But rest assured, there are a lot of ways to give back. Here is what you can do to help! 

Monetary donations to UNICEF Mexico – donate what you can as every penny counts.

Unicef.org

Redcross Mexico, Oxfam Mexico and Save the Children are accepting food, water and clothing donations.
https://www.oxfammexico.org/
https://www.savethechildren.mx/

https://www.cruzrojamexicana.org.mx/

Hurrican Maria
The massive “apocalyptic” category 5 storm hit Dominica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.
Puerto Rico arguably was slapped the hardest leaving hospitals crippled, houses roofless and flooded streets. A total of ten people have died as a result of the storm. Communication is extremely limited – 95 percent of cell towers are down. Puerto Rico has been left without power. The country is ultimately in a state of emergency. Below are a couple of organizations supporting the relief and rebuilding efforts:

Unidos: a fund supported by Bill Deblasio and other members of congress. The fund is managed by the Hispanic federation.
http://hispanicfederation.org/media/press_releases/a_hurricane_relief_fund_for_hurricane_maria_victims_in_puerto_rico/

The Miami Foundation – comprised of two funds supporting both recovery and rebuilding efforts. 

U.S Caribbean Strong Relief Fund: organization will support the relief efforts of Caribbean nations affect by Maria

http://miamifoundation.org/

As a latina I sympethize with all those affected in by these natural disasters. I can’t even imagine the feeling of not hearing back from family members. During this time its important to remain positive and have tons of faith. And remember always be kind!

With love,

Ookaykaren

The opposite of love isn’t hate its indifference… 

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I seldomly deviate from writing about all things lifestyle. However, I couldn’t help but to weight in on the recent violent events such as what occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence was the latest development in a series of tense drama unfolding across the United States over plans to remove statutes and other historical markers of the Confederacy. President Trumps response to the catastrophe was simply unacceptable. Not only did he not respond strongly enough to racism but he failed to condemn the white nationalist. Its time to pay attention to whats really going on in America.

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I’m deeply saddened by the plague of violence and prejudice which has spread out nationwide and internationally. It appears as our country is reverting back to the 19th century. The KKK? White nationalist? Is the white house trying to cover the sun with one finger? Not much has changed, these are real issues. Let us strive to be an advocate of change. Be kind to others, do acts of service, simply be a better person. Unfortunately we don’t have control over the decisions being made in the white house. However, I believe that change is possible if we stick to those values.

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With love,

OokayKaren

Outfit Details

Dress: Zara

Shoes: Gianvito Rossi

OokayKaren takes Cuba


Havana, Cuba is definitely one of the most popular travel destinations of 2017. I spent 5 days in this beautiful island and was enamored by its people, culture and history. Cuba was absolutely an experience rather than a typical vacation. 


My Experience 

My Airbnb host arranged airport pick-up which was very convenient. Once I landed in Cuba it took two hours for the luggage to arrive. Things in this country move very slow – this was a culture shock as people in New York move with urgency. I was able to change my money from euro to cuban pesos before exiting the airport. My Airbnb host emphasized how important it was to bring CASH as its nearly impossible to find an ATM that take “American cards.” To my surprise the taxi was still waiting outside after a 2 hour wait. The ride from the airport to Vedado was 20 minutes. I decided to stay in this neighborhood because it was right outside of Old Havana. Vedado is a calm suburb with mostly locals and bed and breakfast.

Overall, I absolutely loved my trip to Cuba. I would recommend it to those looking to learn about the culture. Its a place where you can literally disconnect (NO internet) from the world. Every street is filled with so much history. This experience made me see life from a different perspective. I returned to New York with so much gratitude. Before booking Cuba I suggest to talk to those who have visited before. Its important to get tips and recommendations. 


Where I stayed: My Proud Havana Bed and Breakfast Network. 


As I mentioned earlier, I booked an Airbnb room in Vedado, Cuba. I thought it was best to stay in quiet neighborhood outside of busy Havana. Upon my arrival my host showed us the ropes. He gave us a map of the city and pointed out the best restaurants in the area. Luckily this Airbnb provided breakfast each morning for an additional 6 cuc per day. The attendant was super nice and even offered to do our laundry. 



The room felt homey with a flat screen tv, king size bed and most importantly AC! It can get very hot in Cuba. I recommend staying somewhere with AC to sleep comfortably. 



The People…

Wandering in the streets of Havana I couldn’t help but notice that locals rarely made eye contact with tourist. However, they are very helpful when stopped for directions or suggestions. To my surprise there was a law that prohibited Cuban people from socializing with tourist. My Airbnb host explained that locals can get arrested if they “disturb”a tourist in anyway.

Where I ate…

Do not visit Cuba with high expectations on food. In my opinion the food was a hit or miss. Luckily, I had a list of recommendations from friends and stuck to it for most of the trip. The best food is found in “paladares” which are basically restaurants located inside a home. Nevertheless, there are a couple of good restaurants in Vedado which I absolutely recommend.

Paladares los Amigos: Located in Vedado – very affordable homey restaurant with amazing food. Not a fancy place but gets the job done.

Decameron: Located in Vedado – great for a night out. But its more on the pricey side. The customer service is great and you will leave with a full tummy.

Atelier: Located in Vedado – this was my favorite restaurant! The food was absolutely delicious. The customer service was good as well. Although a bit pricey the large portions make up for it.  

Places to see…


Get lost in the streets of old havana. It can literally take a whole day to explore and capture everything. 


 Viñales is the ultimate  “campo” experience. The views are spectacular! Its long drive from havana (about two hours and  change) but worth every penny. Be cautious of where you eat! I suggest bringing your own snacks. 


Fabrica de Arte Cubano very dope art gallery/ bar / club. This place is filled with modern art. They charge a fee to get in but the drinks are cheap. You should never pay more than 3.00 cuc for a drink!

Memorial Day Weekend 

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend flew by in a blink of an eye. Summer is finally here but I can’t help but panic because it truly means we’re at the half way mark of the year. As much as Im excited for the future I worry when things don’t turn out exactly how I envisioned. I’m extremely results driven and at times struggle with managing anxiety. Yes, I do yoga, exercise regularly and eat healthy. However, I’m human and have my moments where I feel like my hard work isn’t paying off. I’ve come to terms that you can’t have everything in life at the same time. I have to constantly remind myself to be grateful. Gods timing is perfect and always on time. Okay getting out of my feelings now – thanks for reading. 

With love,

OokayKaren

Outfit details

Top: JCREW 

Bottoms: JCREW

Shoes: Cole Haan 

You can’t avoid a Brand its yours by default or design.. 

People will always remember you by what you represent – I learned that early. We all know what a brand is, but do we really take time to invest in our own? Often times people think that branding is only for those that own a business. However, your brand is what ultimately sets you apart from your peers. 


My brand has evolved throughout the years but a couple of things have remained constant: professional developement, wellness   and family values. Below are a few tips on branding:

Branding tips 

Be visible.. don’t just show up, make your presence be known.  

Readiness.. have your elevator speech ready. (60 seconds to say who you are, what you can do and what you’re hoping to do next)

Add value.. what are you working on and how does that add value to your organization/business. 

Network.. make your brand known through building strategic relationships. Your network should know your skills, strength and career interest. 

Develop and manage your image.. what messages are you sending? Are they messages that will send you in the right direction? 

Self promotion..bring yourself to the representation of others without misrepresentation, hype or false promise. 


Outfit details:

Top: Zara

Jeans: Zara

Boots: Christian Louboutin 

Practicing non-attachment

I’ve been thinking about writing a post about “attachment” as it resonates with everyone. Ultimately attachments cause pain so why do we constantly attach to ideas, relationships, objects and expectations? When things don’t go as planned we are filled with anxiety, frustration and stress. Stressing about how things will turn out means you’re attached to the idea of how you want things to be. Just let it go! Yes, this is easier said than done. However, it all starts with having a positive state of mind.

Excuse my french but, personally I’ve struggled to let shit go. However, over the years it has become a lot easier to accept things as they are rather than attaching to expectations. In my early twenties I started to read  tons of self help books and one of my favorites is  “Zen and the art of happiness” by Chris Prentiss. In this book I learned the keys to praticing non attachment.

3 Ways to practice “non- attachement”


1. Meditation – take time to disconnect and just breathe. Find a time that works best for you. Perhaps in the morning when you wake up or at the end of your day. Close your eyes and take a step back. After your session you may find yourself having more energy and a clear state of mind.

2. Accept things as they are – the universe doesn’t make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated if things aren’t going as planned. For example, if it takes longer for you to graduate or purchase a home. Detach from the idea of how things are supposed to happen. Live life with out expectations and have faith that there is something good in store.

3. Let things go – forget about the past. Live in the present moment. You have no control of people or the future. Things will manifest on their own. Forgive others even if you never received an apology. Holding on to grudges is a form of attachment. Do yourself a favor and move on!

Weekend Warrior

As a working professional in corporate America, I try to get as much things done as possible on the weekends. I like to wake up early organize, run errands and squeeze in a yoga class. In my opinion it’s imperative to have interest and hobbies outside of work. Find your passion, serve others by volunteering in the community or become a mentor. A lot of people quit their full time job to follow their “dreams” because of lack of fulfillment or happiness. And thats totally fine (and brave).

Essentially no job or career will bring you pure hapiness. At some point you may experience stress. But, its your responsibility to DECIDE to be happy. Create a work – life balance that fits you best.

Outfit details:
Jacket: H&M

Pants: Zara

Shoes: Steve Madden

Purse: Saint Laurent

Body Suit: H&M

Bell Sleeve Obsession

The weather was perfect in NYC for Presidents Day weekend. Although I’ve been busy with my career, family and personal life – I couldn’t help but take a trip to the city & shoot this look.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with statement blouses. I found this perfect bell sleeve piece at Zara (it literally goes with everything.) I paired the top with boyfriend jeans to make the look casual yet chic. Below is how I styled it!


Shop the look:

Top: Banana republic

Jeans: Levis

Bag: Saint Laurent

Shoes: Marc Fisher

Coat: JCREW

Xoxo Karen