Five Secrets You Did Not Know About Me + Beau & Ro Bag Giveaway

1) At 32, I still live with my parents and I am not embarrassed about it! After my husband, Lucas, and I were married and he immigrated to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina we decided to move in with my parents. There were two reasons behind our decision, 1) Lucas’ temporary green card limited him in many ways such as not being able to work or get a drivers license and I thought my parents could help keep him company and drive him around while I was at work during the day and 2) we wanted to save money to buy our own home. However, as life would have it, every year something would happen to keep us from moving out. First my father had open heart surgery and we stayed to help nurse him back into good health, then Lucas and my father created a business together, and finally I became pregnant and my parents wanted to help us take care of our son, Joaquín. The plan now is to move out within the next six months, but who knows what will happen next?

2) I have four tattoos and I hate every single one of them. At 14, on a family trip the Bahamas, I snuck away from my family and went into town with the intention of getting a tattoo. Because I looked older than my real age, I was able to convince the tattoo artist that I was 18. For the rest of the trip I covered my ankle up with bracelets, so that my parents would not see it. On the plane ride home I revealed to them what I had done, thinking that since it was a public place they would not be able to react. Well, I was correct, they did not react in that moment, but the second we landed I was in trouble for what seemed like months. That did not stop me though from getting another three tattoos. My goal is to get them all redone over the next couple of years into more meaningful tattoos.

3) I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to my handwriting and symmetry. When I was growing up my teachers would get so frustrated with me, because I would be writing an essay and have to throw it away if I felt like I had written one word ugly. Anything that is hanging on the wall has to be symmetrical as well or I will not be able to stop staring at it. When I was in the hospital after giving birth to Joaquín, there was a painting in my room cemented to the wall and it was very crooked. I almost had to ask to switch rooms, but I focused on my baby instead.

4) Before giving birth to Joaquín, I had never changed a diaper once. I had planned to take classes before my son was born, however due to pregnancy complications and having him a month early, my plans were thwarted. The first time I ever changed a diaper was my son’s! Yes, I was ridiculously nervous, but now I consider myself a pro and can change one with an hour of sleep and/or in the dark.

5) I have a scar in the middle of my chest that I hate and try to hide with my clothes as much as possible. Two years ago, on a trip to the Turks and Caicos, I was bitten by a bug right in the center of my chest. Of course, I just had to scratch it and in doing so caused it become infected with staph. When I returned to the United States, I had to immediately go to the ER to have it cut open, drained, and stitched up and I was on strong antibiotics for a couple of weeks. Now I am left with a scar that I find very unattractive, however I am learning to accept it as a part of me day by day.

My Beautiful Adventures

In honor of sharing some secrets, I am giving away a gorgeous Beau & Ro Bag Company clutch that converts to a belt bag. This is the perfect travel purse for a style-loving, adventure-seeking woman! The clutches come in neons, waterproof, calf hair, metallic leathers, cable knits, and more and are exclusively made in New York.

Beau & Ro Bag Company

Beau & Ro Bag Company

Beau & Ro Bag Company

Beau & Ro Bag Company

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La Abuela’s Arrival

Most Americans take for granted the ease at which they can travel the world. Very few countries require a visa and those that do make it simple to obtain. I was one of those unaware Americans, until I met my Argentinean husband, Lucas. As if thousands of miles between us were not already difficult enough for our long distance relationship, on top of that we had to deal with the immense frustrations that come with obtaining a visa if you are not an American, but would like to visit the United States. During our six year courtship, Lucas visited me once, while I visited him over fifteen times. This was not due to the fact that I liked Argentina more than he liked the United States. It was because, time after time, he was denied tourist visas. I cannot begin to describe how heartbreaking it is when the love of your life is not allowed entry into your country simply because your government views him as a “flight risk.” Even after we were married we still had problems with visas and green cards and it was not until I became pregnant with our son that he was granted a ten year green card.

Once we became parents, it was extremely important to both of us that Lucas’ Mom, Maria, visit her grandson, Joaquín. Even though we wanted it more than anything, we believed that most likely she would not be able to get a tourist visa. In order to improve her chances of getting one, she hired an agency in Buenos Aires to help guide her through the entire process. They told her exactly what to say and not say. Despite the fact that my Mother in Law owns a home, two cars, a business, and has a husband and two other sons, she is still considered a “flight risk.” Thus, the agency told her to tell the immigration agent during her interview that she was going on a vacation and not that she was visiting her grandson. It broke our hearts to think that she was not allowed to mention Joaquín, but it worked! The day we found out she had been approved was definitely a day of celebration in our home.

Maria is a strong willed woman, which is why she and I get along so well. Having said that, I was still utterly impressed that at age 65 — having never left Argentina, nor having ever flown on a plane — she had the courage to cross hemispheres. She did not hesitate to book her plane ticket; this abuela was determined to be with her dulce de leche (her nickname for Joaquín) no matter what.

The day she arrived, my husband was a bundle of nerves. He was so concerned about whether or not she made her flights and was able to pass through customs without any problems that he could not sleep the night before. Since Maria has some medical issues, I asked that the airline provide her with a wheelchair at all times and this free service is one I recommend to others if you should find yourself in a similar situation. Maria was escorted from Point A to Point B throughout her entire trip and never once was confused or had any issues. She told me that she felt like a Queen!

On the way to the airport my husband did not speak one word to me, which is how he acts when he is nervous. I kept checking my phone to make sure that her flight was still on time and to reassure him that everything was okay.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina

Once we got the baggage claim we could see that her flight had landed, but there was no sign of Maria.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard my husband gasp and he took off running. He had spotted his Mom!

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina

What a special moment in our lives this was for us. We had never imagined that Maria would step foot in the United States and now she was here for three months. There were rounds of hugs and kisses and then she politely demanded that we take her to see her grandson.

Our hearts beated in anticipation during the ride from the airport to my parents home. When she saw Joaquín for the first time, it almost felt like I was giving birth to him all over again. They both fell in love with each other within seconds.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Joaquín Alejandro Ledesma

I do not think Joaquín or Maria have stopped smiling in the week that she has been here. The best part about all of this? She obtained a ten year tourist visa, so this will be the first of many visits!

Slotomania-Slot Machines Review

Slot machines can never be boring. It is tempting to try your luck on one of these machines and that is why these machines have remained popular for more than a century. Accessibility on a personal computer is another reason for these games of chance becoming popular across the world. Over the years, online versions have moved from 2D to 3D. Attractive graphics, background music, and stakes add to the variety.

Despite faster systems and better graphics and themes, slot machines on personal computers did not reach their full potential. This was primarily because they could not be used when people actually had time for them, like when they were waiting at dentist’s place or in any waiting room. With the arrival of smartphones, this drawback became history. Slotomania leads the pack of slot machines apps that let people indulge themselves when they have time to spare.

Why Slotomania Is So Popular?

The reason Slotomania is immensely popular is because:

1. It is simple to use.

Programmers are often inclined to complicate the apps to exhibit their skills, or utilize latest technologies available in the market. While it is good to use latest technologies and competencies, an app can only be as useful as the ability of its user. This means expecting the user to be conversant with everything available in the market, which does not always pay rich dividends. The app does not utilize too much memory because of this simplicity. In the process, it also consumes less power. This means battery consumption is lower with this slot app, when compared to many other similar apps.

2. Bonuses and points.

Slotomania keeps regular players interested in bonuses and points, so that they remain engrossed and return to the game, if and when they have time on their hands. Receiving such bonuses is certainly exciting for the players.

3. Subtle graphics and pleasant sounds.

The reasons Slotomania is one of the most popular slot machines apps is also because graphics in it are not loud and the sounds are appealing too.

4. Keeps players interested.

This is an art, and not every program achieves it, notwithstanding how well thought out it is. Players tend to get bored and move on to another and then yet another app. This is the reason app developers have to find a way to keep players interested. To keep busy the players on Slotomania, developers allow them to choose their betting limits and climb ladders and levels.

5. Intuitive buttons.

While Slotomania is simple, it still has several modern features such as intuitive buttons which people have got accustomed to. Such contemporary features make it easier for players to use the slot machines.

6. Variety.

About ninety wagering options are available on this app, including some mini-betting options. Therefore, smartphone users can utilize anytime they have to spare for such thematic games instead of quitting a game halfway.

Conclusion

Slotomania is essentially a game of keeping people entertained and in high spirits. Unlike real life slot machines, people do not lose real money on it. Therefore, they can afford to indulge their slot game playing tendencies without any fears. Accessibility on mobile phones added to a variety of games, and little power and memory utilization make Slotomania considerably better slot game than any other similar game. It is a leading app being regularly downloaded from Playstore!

Six Things You Must Do During Your Short Trip To Barcelona

If you are planning a short vacation to Barcelona this year and are keen to ensure your schedule is full of incredible things to do to get the most out of this amazing city, you are in luck! We have put together six of the best things to do in one of Spain’s most popular and exciting cities during your short break, to ensure you do not miss a second of the fun:

1. Sample Some of the Local Cuisine

Tapas fans will definitely not be disappointed in Barcelona, as the city offers an abundance of delicious dishes to try, with its unique spin on the classics. The local cuisine is known as Catalan and it relies heavily on ingredients popular along the Mediterranean coast, including: fresh vegetables, wheat products, Arbequina olive oils, wines, legumes, mushrooms, all sorts of pork preparations, all sorts of cheese, poultry, lamb, and many types of fish like sardine, anchovy, tuna, and cod.

2. Take a Walk Around the Gothic Quarter

Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th Centuries many of the buildings in the El Barri Gòtic date back to medieval times; some from as far back as the Roman settlements in Barcelona. Therefore, as you walk along the distinctive and winding streets you will feel as if you have gone back in time.

3. Visit a Selection of the Gaudi Landmarks

One of Barcelona’s most famous former inhabitants is of course Gaudi and no trip to the city would be complete without admiring some of his most iconic modernist architecture. These include the Sagrada Família, impressive both outside and in; Park Güell, a space that is out of a fairy tale and emulates an English garden city; and La Pedrera.

4. Go for a Tipple at the Marsella Absinthe Bar

We could not resist leaving this off our list as it is truly a one-of-a-kind hot spot in which to grab a drink (or two!). Opened in 1820, in El Raval, Bar Marsella is said to be Barcelona’s very first bar and everyone from Picasso to Hemmingway is rumoured to have been a regular at some point in this establishment’s long and louche history.

5. Visit the Barcelona Football Club’s Stadium 

Football fans definitely will not want to visit the city without checking out Camp Nou. You could take a tour of the iconic and legendary stadium, and even learn more about it at the museum too. There are some really great places to stay nearby too which is handy if this will be a main part of your trip. Check out apartments near Camp Nou for some more info.

6. Discover Picasso’s Barcelona 

Another famous resident for some time is of course Picasso and you can take walks along the landmarks that inspired some of his greatest works. The Museu Picasso is a must for true Picasso fans who want to learn more about the artist, though it is highly recommended you book online as queues can go on forever.

$50 UNICEF Market Giveaway

Now that I am a Mom, I feel even more strongly about supporting companies like UNICEF that fight and advocate for the survival and development of all children, in all situations, all of the time. When NOVICA, one of my favorite online retail companies, reached out to me to let me know about the launch of their new sister website UNICEF Market I could not have been happier about the news! It always feels wonderful to know that you are shopping to build a better world. For the last five years, my holiday cards have always been from UNICEF. Not only do they make the prettiest greeting cards and have the most thoughtful messages inside of them, they are also an excellent price point and the proceeds are donated to amazing causes. I decided to plan in advance this year and bought my holiday cards on the new website immediately. The purchase of the box of cards helped UNICEF provide 35 doses of measles vaccines to third world countries.

UNICEF Greeting Card
UNICEF Greeting Card
UNICEF Greeting Card

I urge you to take a look at the new website where you can discover beautiful handcrafted gifts that help save children’s lives and support talented artisans.  I am also a huge fan of their jewelry and home collection items. Every order directly impacts children through UNICEF’s global programs.

For this giveaway, I am offering the chance to win a $50 gift card to the UNICEF Market.
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