Islamorada Day Trip: Morada Bay Beach Cafe


Top: Forever 21 // Shorts: Forever 21 // Espadrilles: c/o Shopbop // Hat: Target // Scarf: c/o Benevolent Jewels // Fitbit: Target // Bracelet: J. Crew // Necklace: Taudrey // Sunglasses: LOFT Lipstick: MAC in "Impassioned" // Bag: Victoria's Secret

Islamorada Morada Bay Beach Club
DSC_0937Islamorada Morada Bag Beach Cafe view
PicMonkey CollagePicMonkey PhotoDSC_0936
DSC_0953Islamorada Day Trip
Morada Bay Beach CafeDSC_0042DSC_0026
Top: Forever 21 // Shorts: Forever 21 // Espadrillesc/o Shopbop // Hat: Target // Scarf: c/o Benevolent Jewels // FitbitTarget // Bracelet: J. Crew // Necklace: Taudrey // SunglassesLOFT LipstickMAC in "Impassioned" // Bag: Victoria's Secret
You guys, I had so much fun this weekend. Seriously cannot remember the last time I had this much fun. Marion, mon amie francaise who I befriended on Instagram and then met in February, suggested that we go to Islamorada for some fun in the sun. Not to mention pictures. So many pictures. This is the first of two outfit posts from the day trip-- we went to the Morada Bay Beach Cafe for delicious lunch with a gorgeous view. The waiter informed us that they have a full moon party every month, including that night but we couldn't stay. I'd love to go back for one of those parties one of these days. Must be so fun and pretty, since there are fewer lights and therefore a clearer view of the stars and moon. 

P.S. I'm so in love with my little striped espadrilles. I recently featured them in a Shoesday Tuesday post and knew I had to get them for myself. I'll be wearing them everywhere this spring, so long as it doesn't rain.

Linked up: Fab Favorites // Weekend Wear // How I Spring // Trend Spin // Good Huesday

DNA Day: 23andMe Genetic Ancestry Results + Review

Today's blog post has nothing to do with fashion or style, but more to do with the art and beauty of what makes us human: our DNA. Today seemed most appropriate to share, as it is National DNA Day.


It was during my anthropology days in college that I first heard of the personal genomics company 23andMe, as in 23 pairs of chromosomes. They send you a "spit kit" and test your DNA using your saliva, and three months later you learn where your ancestors likely came from and what genetic diseases you may be a carrier for. I had been looking forward to the day when I could afford the kit, which I think used to be around $200. Then the FDA forced them to stop marketing their health results to consumers, and their price dropped to $99. Bingo. I had my chance.

(However, the FDA has since approved them to provide health results again, so the price is back at $199).

So last spring I ordered the spit kit but took forever in sending it back. By the time I did and they processed my results, it was already fall. I got my results last November, and they completely changed the way I view my ancestry. First let me tell you what hunches I had.

  • All of my family is from the same place: Matanzas, Cuba. Based on what my grandparents told me whenever my curious self asked about the past, all of my great-great grandparents were originally from the Canary Islands.
  • The Canary Islands belong to Spain but are really off the coast of Morocco and the Sahara. In my mind this meant the original inhabitants were of North African descent. 
  • Spain was ruled by the Moors for like 800 years, and my mom's paternal side of the family has "Moro" (as the Cubans call it) looking features, such as lots and lots of hair and dark undereye circles.
  • I don't sweat easily and I do not like water. Actually, I'm very friolenta (always cold) and it takes a lot for me to sweat. Like one time I went in a sauna with some of my friends on a cruise, and it took me over fifteen minutes to start sweating while everyone else was already glistening three minutes in. As for water, my body just doesn't ask for it, unless I've been unusually active or out in the sun all day. 
Taken together, these pieces of data led me to believe that I had signficant Middle Eastern ancestry. In my mind, I don't sweat or crave water easily because my people came from the desert. That's what I would say to myself to justify my horribly low water consumption. And just look at this picture of my grandpa in his day. Look at that beautiful, Mediterranean-looking face.

Handsome Grandpa
I miss him everyday. 
Also, look at my eyes and nose here. Very Middle Eastern looking, imo.



So the process is very simple. You just pay for your kit and get it in the mail. Here's how it works, straight from the horse's mouth:

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You have to spit an enormous amount of saliva into the tube. The funnel helps. It is really, really gross. Not gonna lie. You may have to wait for your salivary glands to replenish the amount of saliva in your mouth before you can keep spitting. Then you put your saliva sample into the "specimen bag" which goes back in the box to be mailed to them.


Ok, so without further ado, here are my results!
Mobile view for clarity.

I am 96.4% European, 1.1% Sub-Saharan African, 1% East Asian/Native American, and only .4% Middle Eastern and North African.  Not at all what I expected.

According to these results, my ancestors were mostly southern European and from the Iberian peninsula, which makes sense given my family's oral history and known last names. I was really surprised to find that much Northwestern European in there.

I was also surprised to see the Sub-Saharan percentage is slightly higher than my Middle Eastern/North African percentage!
This part did, because as far as I'm concerned my great-great-grandparents all came directly from the Canary Islands (I've heard that Matanzas as a city was founded by mostly Canarian immigrants). Best case scenarios are that 1) someone with Native American ancestry traveled to Europe and contributed that DNA to me, or 2) my great-great-grandparents and their family were in Cuba much earlier than we think and an ancestor had sex with a native there, likely the Taino. Of course, given the history of colonialism in the Americas, it might have been rape.
So just .3% Middle Eastern/North African! There goes my theory on my strong Middle Eastern genes. I thought maybe these results reflected mostly my maternal lineage through mitochondrial DNA (passed down from mother to child), but after brushing up on genes 101 I remembered that women obviously get one X from mom and one X from dad, and that 23andMe tests both sex and autosomal (i.e., non-sex chromosomes) DNA. Which means these results reflect both maternal and paternal DNA.

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This illustrates how I can only know my maternal haplogroup because I don't have a Y chromosome. I'd have to get my dad tested to learn what's on that. That'd be fun. I'll get him tested one of these days. 😊
Maternal Haplogroup U6b1
So the haplogroup U6 is consistent with the Middle Eastern assumption I had, except through my maternal grandma's side, and I thought it came from my grandpa's side. The U6b1 subgroup is specifically from the Canary Islands. Accurate, given my grandparents' reports of my great-great grandparents all being from there.


So basically, what I learned is that my family is way more European than I thought. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had some British and Irish in me, and some Ashkenazi Jew. Whenever I visit southern Europe again and the UK and Canarian Islands I will have a newfound perspective I didn't have before. Which is next month! On that Mediterranean cruise. Can't wait. 😊

Grandparents' wedding, 1946
My maternal grandparents on their wedding day in Matanzas, Cuba, surrounded by relatives, some more Middle Eastern looking than others.  In Cuba these darker-skinned, non-Afro descended people are referred to as "trigueños." The trigueños in this picture are all related to my grandpa, which is why I thought I had more Middle Eastern genes.
PicMonkey Collage
My beautiful grandparents in their heyday. My grandpa looks so serious here. He was a serious man, but also jolly and so loving. His expression here is reflective of the times.
Fast-forward some 70 years and here is that lovely lady with her granddaughter on Thanksgiving in the United States. Who would have told her she'd live 45+ years in the states. She'd never have left Cuba if it wasn't for Castro.
Mommy in her quinces
My pretty mom in her quinces (at 15).

Los Alonsos
Maternal family on dad's side. Their parents' parents were supposedly Canarian.
My grandma is the middle one in the last column. She's more trigueña than some of the others. People tell me I look a lot like her.
Consuelo y Consuelita
Paternal great-grandmother, looking down.
Here's my dad as a kid:

my dad

And during Father's Day last year:

My dad.

In the future I will definitely get my dad tested to discover what his Y chromosome reveals, and I may get tested through a competitor like just to compare results. Another cool thing 23andMe does is alert you of any other customers  you share a portion of your DNA with. To broaden the scope even further, I've uploaded my raw data to the Gedmatch site to be alerted of any DNA relatives who have been tested by different companies.


This was a very lengthy, dense post with lots of fun technical language. I'm glad I put it together so it can live permanently in the Internet for future generations to see. I wonder what new genetic combinations those generations will be made up of. And I hope those of you who read it have found my account interesting or useful in some way. I definitely recommend that everyone get DNA tested if they're able to. Genetic ancestry results show us that we are all one. Race is surely very real on a day to day basis, as it affects our daily interactions and our core identifies. But at the genetic level race is but a social construct, with no basis in biology, as we are all mixed. Even when someone is 99% Asian, let's say, if you look within that you will find that they may be 70% Japanese, 10% Korean, 5% Chinese, etc. It's a beautiful thing to live at a time where this knowledge and how to tap into it exists. The 21st century is truly a wonderful place to exist in as a sentient human being. How lucky are we?

I'll leave you with my favorite quote, by famed biologist Richard Dawkins, who so beautifully describes how monumentally fortunate we are to have made it here:
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”
-Richard Dawkins

P.S. 23andMe also gave me multiple health reports but this blog post focused exclusively on genetic ancestry, which is what I love most.

Linked up: Ageless Style

Boho Spring Meets Coastal Chic

Tank: Forever 21 // Pants: J. Crew // Wedges: Joie via Shopbop // Cardigan: Target // Bag: Lucky Brand via Macy's // Necklace: J. Crew // Watch: Urban Outfitters // Sunglasses: Love Shopping Miami

Well that's a wordy title. I couldn't decide on the style of this outfit, so I just threw all the words together. All I know is I love it!

Last Night's Old Navy Order

Back in the day the only time I ever went to Old Navy was when they offered their $1 flip-flop deal every summer (or was it every spring?). I was never a fan of Old Navy-- their stores kinda overwhelmed me for some reason and I thought their fabrics were very low-quality. The low-quality thing might still very well be true, but yesterday when I went on their website looking for just a denim jacket for my Mediterranean cruise next month, I was flabbergasted at all these cute dresses AND THEIR PRICES! Everything was on sale. They had 15% off with no code needed, plus an extra 30% if you used code APRILSAVE. Here is everything I purchased from them, in the order in which I discovered it.

So it all started with the denim jacket, which I ordered in both regular medium and medium petite to see which one fits best. I can just return in the store or by mail if anything. Then I wanted to find some lightweight spring scarves. $6.97 for the mint? YES PLEASE. So then I saw an ad for their dresses (good job, Old Navy). It was incredible how many cute dresses they have, all sorted out by category. Yesterday they had them sorted by type of dress, but today I only see them sorted by occasion. Also nice.

I kept hearing how Old Navy has changed their image and upped their game but hadn't investigated for myself. "They're like a super cheap J. Crew now," a friend told me not too long ago. Boy was I hooked. I don't plan on keeping all of this I ordered, but for the price and flexible return policy, I allowed myself to go a little wild. Most of these things aren't even for my trip-- I just want more cute dresses to wear on the weekends because pants = yuck in the summer here. So sticky.

So yeah, that was my impulse purchase from last night! I hope most of them will fit and look ok enough. Otherwise they will be returned. I expect to wear some of what I ordered on the blog.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. This is not sponsored by Old Navy in any way, though I wish it was. However, if you make a purchase, I will be compensated a very tiny amount through ShopStyle's affiliate program, as posted in my disclosure on the sidebar. Just wanted to make that very clear since I came off very excited in this post. Because I am! 😊


baseball tee weekend outfit

Tee: J. Crew // Jeans: Denim & Supply via Macy's // Sneakers: Keds x Kate Spade via Nordstrom Rack // Bag: Coach (still available here) // Cap: J. Crew // Sunglasses: LOFT // Lipstick: MAC in Impassioned // Bracelet: J. Crew // FitbitTarget

sporty casual spring/summer weekend outfit

Throwback Thursday: 70s Style

I've been really digging the 70's look lately. Which is still surprising to me, because I've always said I'm a fan of the 20's-60s and it stops there. But nope, the 70s had its own classic beauty in its own right. More like a sexiness, really. The first time I really noticed this was in American Hustle.
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THE DONNA: Nasty Gal white ringer teeStella McCartney flare jeans70s Converse
This first collage is so typically "Donna" of That 70s Show. I LOVE those flared pants. Wish I could pull them off but I have yet to find a petite pair that are actually petite. The baseball sort of tee and Converse complete the classic All-American feel here. I'd wear this outfit with flippy Farrah Fawcett hair.
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70s BEACH GLAM: Asos plunge halter swimsuitMissguided ankle strap platformsChloe Sunglasses
GIRLY BOHO: Baggu bag, Phyllis Wedge SandalGorjana viceroy earringsJoie chambray dress

For these next two I was inspired by all the sexy V-neck or plunge bathing suits I've been seeing lately, and the beautiful Phyllis Wedge Sandal I just ordered from Shopbop. I included the heels because they went with the vibe, not because I find them practical for the beach by any means. Let that be clear. Lol. The outfit on the right is so me and just screams Sunday brunch to me. It's relaxed and girly and boho. So cute. I took advantage of the Friends and Family sale happening at Shopbop until 11:59 tonight (see below) and finally bought those wedges I had been eyeing since last month. Can't wait to see them!

Fun Stuff Sunday: Pretty Spring Bags

pretty spring bags 2016
1 - Rebecca Minkoff Side Zip Mini // 2 - Kate Spade striped coral bag // 3 - Deux Lux scalloped bag
4 - Cambridge Satchel Saddle Bag // 5 - Hat Attack Perfect striped tote // 6 - Hat Attack Watermelon Clutch
7 - BAGGU brown crossbody // 8 - Deux Lux white saddle bag // 9 - BAGGU rose crossbody

So I put together this collection of pretty spring bags for my regular "Fun Stuff Friday" feature, but I went for a "Fun Stuff Sunday" instead because I don't think many of these will make it to Friday! For example, the Baggu crossbody bags are 20% off and the Kate Spade is 30% off. Then there's the pretty scalloped tote that's been everywhere on the blogosphere lately.

The yellow Rebecca Minkoff is the most expensive, but I had to include it because look at that color! I own the white crossbody in navy and really love it, but I kinda want the white one too. White can be unforgiving if you are a klutz like me but it's oh so versatile. It's hard to pick my favorite here but I think I'd go with the Baggus. They're so simple and would go with just about everything.

Thanks for reading, and happy Sunday!

Linked up: How I Spring // Hello Monday

Casual Bike Riding Around Town

*This post originally went up on Thursday, 3/31/16. I reverted it to a draft and reposted it on 4/2/16. This specific bag is now sold out, and the Converse are now 9% as opposed to 25% off (who does that??). I apologize for any confusion. Also, two comments you guys had left me disappeared. Oops.

Oh hi there! Today is all about my bike and bag. And my hair. Lots and lots of hair in this one.

Top: Forever 21 // Shorts: Lucky Brand // ShoesConverse // Bag: c/o Shopbop // SunglassesFree People // Bracelets: Lucky Brand, eBay, Punta Cana beach vendor // Necklace: gift from my grandma, years ago!

spring/summer bike ride outfit
biking around town outfitPicMonkey Photo
Splendid Carmel Cross Body Bag
bike ride outfit
Momentum park orange bike
Splendid Carmel Cross Body Bag, red Converse
Coral Gables biking
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Splendid Crossbody Bag // $20 Sunnies // Converse

My Cute Bike, the Momentum Park in Orange

So I don't actually look this cute and coordinated when I go bike riding. I usually wear black workout pants, my trusty old Nikes, and my old college t-shirts. Yep, I rock those "Canes" and "Greek Life" proudly (even though I was in a sorority for just one semester!). But I'd been wanting to put something cute together for a blog post, so when I got this striped bag from Shopbop in the mail this week I figured it was perfect timing. I ordered the bag using the gift certificate money Shopbop provided me with as a new partner. I got it primarily for my upcoming Mediterranean cruise (the red and white stripes seemed very appropriate for Venice!). And hey, it's now half off. 

As for my hair... I haven't worn this half up thing since at least middle school. My friends and I used to call it "half and half." We had a stage in 6th grade I think it was that we would coordinate our hairstyles, like Mean Girls (except we were really just nerds). We didn't know what to call this popular 'do so we just named it "half and half." That is what this hairstyle reminds me of. Ariana Grande brought it back some time ago, and now I'm wearing it too because it's a very easy and flattering style on my hair type. 

So that was a lot of pictures and words. If you made it this far, I thank you!
I plan on doing some more bike posts soon, including a proper review on the bike itself. So stay tuned. :)

Bonus pics: Some shots from my bike ride.

Back part of Venetian pool
The Biltmore Hotel
The prettiest Church in Miami, imo: The Coral Gables Congregational Church