A Tale of Hispanic Heritage & Why It Matters

Hispanic Heritage - Pura Vida Sometimes

Fifty years ago, the president of this country had the social consciousness to celebrate the contributions of Latinos in United States during National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s more important than ever to continue the tradition, tell our stories, share our joy, and dispel myths and prejudices. Hispanic Americans have risen in importance and power, but still, we are classified by color and culture. An intertwined tale of Hispanic Heritage Nogales, my hometown, is named after a walnut grove that belonged to the Elías family (Los Nogales de Elías), which was then a part of Mexico. Following the Gadsden Purchase in 1853, the Elías […]

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Lymphedema: What MDs Don’t Know, What You Can Do

Over the last four years, with extreme swelling in my legs, I saw a number of medical practitioners and tried everything they recommended, all to no avail. Today for World Lymphedema Day, years into my issue but only a few months after diagnosis, I share my story. If for nothing else, I hope to bring awareness to the disease and hopefully spare others the same anguish and confusion. Perhaps the larger issue is that, during the course of my struggles, which began during pregnancy, I spoke with 15 medical practitioners (yes, I counted), including 10 medical doctors – my obstetrician, […]

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A Huge Border Wall is Not the Answer

A Huge Border Wall is Not the Answer on Pura Vida. Sometimes.

In the late 1800s, my family came from Solingen, Prussia and built their homestead in a canyon on the Mexican border before Arizona was a state. At that time, Nogales was literally a walnut grove bisected by an international line with little more than a railroad station and post office. My grandmother and all her siblings were born on that land, as was my father and his siblings, and it’s where we spent summers when my mom dropped us off with family and went to work. When I was growing up, the fence, as we called it, was literally a […]

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How Microblading is Done (Great Brows Changed My Life)

Microblading on Pura Vida Sometimes

I was born without eyebrows. Well, they’re there, but not visible to the plain eye. My hair is dark, my eyebrows belong on a blonde. My Irish face didn’t do me any favors growing up in a Mexican border town, where girls are known to be olive-skinned, put-together and beautiful, with a dramatic brow, long before that was a thing. I felt the disparity and tried to compensate with all the smoke and mirrors, but still, in the morning I wake up freckly and Irish and by the time I go to work, I look at least half Mexican. My […]

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You Know Nothing About Cuba

You Know Nothing About Cuba on Pura Vida Sometimes

No matter how many books you read, classes you take, or how up on current events you are, there’s no way to understand Cuba, even if you’ve been there. It is a country of contrasts and incomparable warmth and beauty. I studied and was obsessed with the country – its politics, revolutionary history, intellectual capital, and culture – for about 15 years before I had the opportunity to visit the island. After a week in Cuba, the one thing I knew to be true, in the words of Aristotle, was “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I began studying Cuba at the university […]

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How Small Men Inspire Nasty Women

How Small Men Inspire Nasty Women on Pura Vida Sometimes

There’s been a lot of buzz in the media lately about nasty women. It’s something I’ve spent at least two decades practicing, refining, and perfecting, in spite (and because) of lesser humans’ best efforts to keep me in my place. Being strong and true to yourself gives peace of mind, so if you’ll allow me, here are some tips on how to be a really nasty woman: Know thy enemy: Albert Einstein affirmed that “great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Similarly, nasty women will always be judged by small men, and also embraced by the great ones. […]

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Have Passport – F Your Rules

Have Passport - Pura Vida Sometimes

When I was literally 18 and a day, I traveled overseas for the first time. It was an amazing, illuminating experience – all that I’d hoped it would be, in most ways – but a couple of days into the trip I broke the travel rules and was labeled a delinquent and punished for the remainder of our travels. In hindsight, do I feel bad about what I did? Nope. I was invited to be part of a musical ambassador program, for high school musicians (or in my case, recent graduates) in which we traveled to seven countries in two […]

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Letter to My Daughter: On Being a Workaholic

Letter on being a workaholic Pura Vida Sometimes

To my beautiful Warrior Princess: One of my greatest fears is that you will look back on your childhood and think that your mom cared more about work than about you. I would understand if my actions gave you that impression, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’d like to explain a few things with hopes you will view our life together with love and compassion and make good choices on how you want to live yours. Since I was 17, I’ve only ever not worked during three four-month spurts in my life. The first two were between […]

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How to Be the Best Woman for the Job

How to Be the Best Woman for the Job on Pura Vida Sometimes

I was invited to business development meeting with our director of operations and a potential partner from Spain – a well-dressed man in his 60s. We made introductions, talked about our ideas and possible synergies – an even interplay between the three of us in the room, but he and I also chatted briefly in his mother tongue. The Spaniard sat straight with his hands crossed, the director of operations had a small notepad and jotted things periodically, and I typed on my little laptop as we talked. At the end of the meeting, the three of us agreed it […]

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The Fiend’s Peanut Butter Cup

Fiends PB Cup on Pura Vida Sometimes

 If I was ever stranded on a desert island, I’d hope there were cacao beans and coconut trees. I have a chocolate problem. I love it in it’s most pure form. Milk chocolate can fly a kite; sugar and milk are impurities, as far as I’m concerned. I adore dark chocolate – the more bitter, the better. This Fiend’s Peanut Butter Cup hits the spot when I put myself on a diet desert island and when I’m safe and sound in the city. When I started eating low-carb, I felt so much better, I stopped being so hangry, I spent a […]

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