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Adoptee

Hola y Bienvendio!

Today, I’m going to talk about what it means to be an adoptee. What is an adoptee you maybe wonder? For those of you who don’t know what that means it’s an adopted son or daughter. A person who was adopted as a child. Most of you don’t know this about me but now you do. Here is my story.

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Many people around the world are adopted and or have adopted a child. I was adopted at a very young age. Matter of fact, I was adopted @ the age of 5yrs old. Many adopted people don’t know they’re adopted or they know and simply don’t care. Kinda like my brother who was adopted @ 9mo, he knows but refuses to admit it. Which, is perfectly fine because he is Chicano and looks white like my adoptive parents.

I on the other hand being Puerto Rican and Mexican have a darker skin tone and don’t quite fit in with my all white family. When I was younger, I remember my first day of school which many people do not. Here is what I remember about it, when my dad dropped me off the parents were allowed to come into the classroom to meet the teacher and say their goodbyes for the day. When my classmates saw my dad, they immediately started to poke fun @ me. They said terrible hurtful things to me.

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They asked me why I didn’t look like my dad, then because of his age they asked me if he was my abuelo. This, really hurt me. Until, I had went to school I really didn’t think anything of it, because he was my dad. One day, I asked my dad and my mom why I was the way I was and why my original family didn’t want me. I came from the isla, and I’m pretty sure I was happy there with my familia. Looking at old pics, I certainly looked happy. Then, I started to wonder did I do something wrong that made them send me away? So many questions and not enough answers.

My adoption was a closed adoption which means there is a lot of red tape to go through to figure out where and who my familia is. I sometimes had wondered do I have siblings, am I the oldest or the youngest, do they miss me and are they looking for me like I’m looking for them? All these questions I had as a young child and my parents couldn’t or wouldn’t give any answers for any of it. Although, @ an older age I have met my biological father once who lives in the Bronx, NY but we don’t talk. As, for my biological mother I have yet to meet her.

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Through out my life as a child and a teenager my life only got more complicated and confusing. My mom and dad said I was their child and God gave me to them and that was that. In school, when people would ask if I had any siblings and I would tell them and point out my brother because we attended the same school he would deny me to their faces saying he was an only child and he had no earthly idea who I was. This made me angry and sad because we grew up together in the same casa.

More over they were confused b/c they’d see us getting picked up together after school which made for even more questions. Question, I could answer but at the same time hurt to keep explaining things over and over again. It seriously was like beating a dead horse figuratively speaking. To this day, he still doesn’t recognize me as his sister even though we legally carry our adopted parents last name. It’s truly sad.

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When I was little my birthdays seemed to make me sad, Why you may ask? Birthdays are supposed to be fun and a happy time, right? Not for me. Every year, I celebrated I wondered to myself is my biological familia thinking of me and celebrating my birth too or had they forgotten about me and moved on with their lives and possibly other kids?

A lot of times, I wondered what my life would of been like if I had been able to stay with my familia. Would I have been happier would my birthdays been better with them being there with me? What would my life of been like? So many things swirled around in my head. Still no answers.

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My mom and I were always butting heads when I was younger. My adoptive parents couldn’t have children so they adopted. Moreover I felt she treated me differently since I wasn’t her biological child. I felt she treated my brother better than she treated me. I always felt that I had to compete with him, like I could never measure up to him or her expectations of me. Like, he was her golden child and could do absolutely no wrong in her eyes and that I was the black sheep of the familia. Maybe, I was the black sheep. I certainly felt like it.

On the other hand, I was my father’s daughter his little girl….more or less a daddy’s girl. I loved my father and I tried my hardest to make him happy and never disappointed in me. Although, no one is perfect and I did do things that upset him and made him disappointed in me. But, in his eyes I was his little girl and he treated me as such. He truly loved me rest his soul. He was a good man. I truly miss him.

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Please, don’t get me wrong my parents are good Christian people who love and fear God as anyone should. But, I honestly have always felt that the two main people in my life that love me the most is my father and my abuela. I never really felt close to my abuelo until he was going through dialysis and nearing the end of his life which is truly sad for me because he too like my father was a good kind hearted man. But, like my mother he favored my brother over me….I felt as if he tolerated me. It’s sad that I feel like this but I honestly feel it is true.

When I reached my younger adult years I set out to try and reach out so to speak to find my familia. Nothing. I called the adoption agency went though a lot of red tape myself in search to find them find out where I came from. Still nothing. I was told that they couldn’t get into contact with my familia. This made me sad and angry at the same time. So, for awhile I decided I’d stop trying like it didn’t matter. But, it did matter. I was holding a huge grudge more or less a chip on my shoulder that I had carried since I was a child.

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Around the time I turned 27yrs old, a letter came in the mail stating the adoption agency had heard from my birth mother trying to get in contact with me beacuse she had some important health issues she felt I needed to know about. So, as the letter stated I needed to get a form notarized and send a copy of my driver license to prove that I was who I am and who the adoption agency thought I was.

So, I did as they letter instructed. Time to wait for whatever was to come. Surprisingly the letter arrived on my birthday. I didn’t know what to make of this. What did she really want? Why now? Maybe, she was reaching out because she wanted money or something. All these questions.

A few months later another letter showed up with her first name only in the letter and the health information she so desperately thought I should know about. Some of the things in the letter mad me angry. Why didn’t she inform the adoption agency prior to the adoption that I might possibly have or could have the same things she did? How inconsiderate I thought.

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When, I was 13yrs old I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or JRA. She, has RA….how she didn’t think this may have been vital for my parents to know this information was beyond me.

For my parents, I could only imagine how scary this was for them not knowing what to do other than to take their child to the doctors and try to help their child who was in sever amounts of pain sometimes even crying myself to sleep because I was in so much pain.

For those of you who don’t know or have never heard of Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA),  it is often referred to by doctors today as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is a type of arthritis that causes joint inflammation and stiffness for more than six weeks in a child aged 16 or younger. It affects approximately 50,000 children in the United States. I just so happened to be one of the children who had this condition. Lucky me, huh?

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From the age of 13, I was in and out of doctor appointments with the Rheumatologist and the Physical Therapist. I don’t know many other teenager that were having to take meds on a daily basis or for that matter having to give themselves Enbrel injections in the thighs and stomach region. I did it myself, because I couldn’t stand for anyone else to do it for me and on top of that my parents were scared to that they might hurt me. I did those injections until I was 21yrs old and off my parents insurance because I wasn’t attending school.

Dramatic improvements in the way rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is treated have given many newly diagnosed people the hope of achieving remission or at least getting inflammation under tight control, a state doctors call “low disease activity.” Either goal is easier to achieve for some than others. This was the case for me, I stopped taking medication for the condition years ago as it had went into remission. Some how, I got used to or should I say immune to the pain. I still have pain but, I think now it just comes with age and getting older.

The other conditions in that letter I had one other which was asthma, which I discovered it in my late 20’s. Everything else, I got checked for to make sure I was good but sufficed to say you can’t check for a lot of things until you progress in age. As, for my birth father I have yet to find out anything about his health conditions if any or his side of the familia which comes from Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Skipping a lil ahead the adoption agency also sent a little more information to me such as why their reasoning to why I was adopted. I was told by letter that when I was born, my mother had no idea that babies ate more than 3x per day and that I was sent to the NICU at only a month old and stayed there for several months until I started to gain my weight that the doctors felt was a healthy weight. After which, I was sent home with them. Supposedly, my father wasn’t around much when I was little because he worked a lot so I was mainly under her care and my abuela on his side of the familia.

Still, something wasn’t quite right. The letter also had informed me that once she left my father she came to the states because her family lived here which is my Mexican side. I was informed in the letter that some male family members of hers did very bad things to me when I was little and so I was taken from her and put into the system. Not sure how old I was when that happened to me. Shortly afterward, I was being shuffled from foster home to foster home within a matter of months until I was finally adopted by my now family.

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This, made me livid! How could she let them do this to me? I was her baby her daughter. Did she not love me enough? Where was she when her familia was doing these unspeakable things to me? Did she know? Did she even try to stop it? More questions that there are no answers for.

Then, I wondered why didn’t my Puerto Rican familia not try to fight for me? Did they even try to stop her from taking me? Did my father not love me enough to stop her or was this totally out of his control? Did my Boricuas not want me? I was confused. Still more questions going unanswered and still unanswered.

At this point in time knowing everything the adoption agency knew or was willing to legally tell me, I was so far past angry and the chip only got bigger. I needed an outlet, I needed to let her know how mad I was she needed to know. The adoption agency allowed me to write and email a letter written by me that they would forward to her last know physical address and email. Having this new found freedom to express exactly how I felt I let loose! I basically let her have it, I let her know how angry and hurt I was she needed to know how I felt she needed to read it!

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Yes, I went off on her for the terrible things I read, yes I let her know how I felt. I sat down on New Years Eve night 3yrs ago and wrote that email it was time I felt to let go release my rage and remove the chip off my shoulder. As soon as I wrote and proof read the email it sent it into cyber space to the adoption agency. After I wrote it, I felt free I felt a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders! I let her know that her oldest child was doing great in life, grew up in a good Catholic familia, and that I had a great job and was going to college. She needed to know her child wasn’t a fuck up so to speak.

When, I reread the letter I saw just how upset I was @ her. I tried to put myself in her shoes reading it. I thought to myself, if I were her I’d totally abort mission on trying to reach out or get to know me. I also, thought putting myself in her shoes wow my daughter my first born really hates me. Honestly, I rarely ever use that word because “hate” is a very strong word and not to be said unless you really mean it. And, I did hate her for many years but since then I’ve gotten over it and forgiven her for myself so God could forgive me. I stopped being angry and holding a grudge against her. To be honest, I thank her from the bottom of mi corazone that she gave me up. I wish she would of given me to my father and his familia but not knowing the whole story maybe they did what they felt was right.

A few weeks later the adoption agency told me they read my letter before they sent it to her. They said, they were sorry I was so angry and that I needed to seek counseling. To this I replied back that I had seen them when I was younger and in my professional opinion it was a huge waste of time and money on my parents part. To be honest yelling,”fuck,” at the top of my lungs is much faster and cheaper. And that’s real.

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I later found out that they were unable to successfully get the letter to her because they felt she may have been in jail or moved addresses. They also, informed me that I was the oldest child of 3. I’m the oldest, I have a sister who is 2yrs younger than me and another sibling that they have no idea the gender of.

They’re not my fathers children they are hers and that makes them my half siblings. The adoption agency has no idea what happened to them only that they were given the same fate as myself. Which, means to me that my birth mom is and was an unfit parent.

I honestly hope that they are alive and well and hopefully have familias of their own. I thought of trying to find them but that is nearly impossible because they can’t find my birth mom and they don’t know the names of my siblings. I started thinking that they maybe just like me and think they’re the only child just like I thought I was. How ironic is that? Or maybe, they know but like me have no idea how to find me without finding her first.

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I feel that if it’s meant for us to meet some how some way God will make it happen. As, for right now I’m living my life the best way I can and am very successful at doing so. I went to college, I am able to support myself and my lifestyle, have my own place and vehicle and feel I’m adulting pretty well for myself.

Yes, I’ve made bad decisions and a few recently, but it hasn’t killed me I’m ok and I will be ok. They say damaged people are the best at surviving and I am living proof of that. They also say that damaged people are dangerous because they know they can survive this is also true.

You maybe sitting there wondering to yourself is she truly ok? The answer to that is,”yes!” Then you maybe to wondering is she still angry because it kinda sounds like it. The answer to that is,”no I’m not angry I’ve finally let it go years ago and I am better for it.”

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The moral of this story, is that all of this made me who I am and who you currently see before you. This journey has shaped me and molded me into the wonderful kind hearted person I am today.

I honestly feel like if I hadn’t been adopted I’m really not sure where I’d be today for that matter I may not of been alive to tell you about it today. Never ever judge a book by it’s cover because you never know that persons struggle and what they’ve been through to make it to where they are today.

As, always I hope you have kept an open mind and enjoyed reading a little more about me and getting to know a little bit of my back story.

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Boricua Hair & The Products We Love

Hola y Bienvenido!

Today, I want to share with you Boricua hair and the products we use. Because hair is so entwined with our perception of beauty, it is the most easily manipulatable element of our physical self—one that best helps manifest also our internal self. This is perhaps why such a simple thing like hair matters to discussions of one’s personal identity. It’s been a serious issue for some Puerto Rican women whose confidence has been affected by society’s ideas of beauty. It’s been a powerful tool for others whose love for their hair grew hand in hand with the love for themselves.

Some women like it and some women hate their hair. And some learned to love their hair and found in that transformation a freedom worth sharing.

I interviewed two good friends of mine Jess and Chrissy, who are Puerto Rican. We talked about hair, about their personal stories, about loving their hair and about loving themselves. Here are their stories…and mine will be last.


 

I’m going to start by sharing Jess’s story.

Please meet Jess

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Getting started lets get to know her, she is a talented inspiring entrepreneur who lives here in the US she is also the owner of Jess Designs Jewelry. (Which I did a previous post on.) Jess’s hair texture is wavy- not straight or curly like mine or Chrissy’s hair. She believes we have an opportunity now to redefine the concept of Puerto Rican beauty and aesthetics to include all of our colors and textures, especially our grifas.

Jess’s go-to favorite hair care products are Living Proof and Pantene Pro V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner. She says both give essential hydration from root to tip which is extremely important for her and her hair type.

This is what she had to say about using Living Proof hair products:

“Ever since I saw Jennifer Aniston backing up the product like 3 yrs ago, I knew it had to be good because her hair always looks great and she really takes great care of herself. She’s a beauty,”she said.

“What I like the most is that Living Proof carries a line of products to aim & fit every hair texture.”

She say’s that even though Living Proof maybe a little pricy, it works wonderfully for her and her hair type. Jess, is now using the newest product called Living Proof T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler.

T.B.D. = Tame Blowout Deconstruct

She commented that she is absolutely hooked on their products and it is her absolute favorite and would definitely recommend it.

IMG_2686Here is what she had to say about using Pantene Pro V hair products:

Jess says that she also loves using Pantene Pro V Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner. She especially likes how it holds up during the Fall and Winter months.

“It really leaves my hair feeling super hydrated, soft and manageable,”she stated. Here’s the thing about shampoo: it’s all about taking away (dirt, oil), not so much about giving back (softness, shine). And I’ve accepted it. We lather, we rinse … and we put all our nourishment expectations on our conditioner. Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo, however, has long been one of the least stripping of hair-cleansing options, which is probably why you like to give it your votes — and praise. Your hair stays hydrated, in all weather, until your next wash. This is truly a one-bottle-fits-all product!”

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Now, moving on to how she takes care of her beautiful hair.

“After, I wash my hair, I blow dry it with a regular blow dryer and use a round roller brush then brush it section by section – like at the salon,”she stated. “Thereafter, I apply my fav styling product.”

  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-1 Styling Treatment

Jess told me,”It’s the best styling cream.” “It leaves my hair so soft, shiny, less frizzy, bouncy and manageable.”


 

Now, I’d like to introduce you to Chrissy.

Please meet Chrissy

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Getting started I’d like for you to get to know her, she is a talented actress and singer who lives here in the US. She is a fine example of a brave and proud Boricua with big curls. Her hair texture is curly like mine- not straight or or wavy like Jess’s hair. She believes natural hair, whether curly or not, is beautiful and part of who we are. Teaching our young girls to love their hair as they love themselves is fundamental to raise a new generation of proud Boricuas.

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Chrissy’s go-to favorite hair care products are everything Deva Curl. She says it  gives perfect curl definition and essential hydration from root to tip which is extremely important for her and her hair type.

This is what she had to say about using Deva Curl Buildup Buster:

“If your hair has lost its mojo due to buildup from products, hard water, or environmental stressors, this rinse-out cleansing serum will bring all curl types back to life,” she said. “I used to straighten it but it created so much damage that I had to cut it.”

“I use the Deva Curl Buildup Buster as the shampoo, I do the curly girl method except for I wash my hair a little more.”

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Here is what Chrissy had to say about using Deva Curl One Condition:

“If your hair needs a dose of essential moisture and you want soft, frizz-free curls, you’ve come to the right conditioner! One Condition Original works great for all curl types.”

“It’s helped my heat damaged hair from using blowers and planchas,” she told me.

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Now, I’d like to move on to how she takes care of her beautiful curls.

“My hair routine, is I wash it with Deva Curl Buildup Buster then soak it with water and conditioner. After which, I comb it section by section it takes about 20 min to do my hair.”

When, I asked her if she’s ever struggled with her locks she said,”no.” She did however say that it did have a little bit of shrinkage so she would straighten it.

Chrissy says the best thing about her gorgeous locks is the color. “It looks dark like black but it’s actually a brown-blonde color….when people see me in person they are shocked.”

She commented to me that she is absolutely hooked on their products and it is her absolute favorite and would definitely recommend it.


 

And now for my story which is the last to give.

Please meet Me

IMG_1941Getting started I’d like for you to get to know me, yes I’m pretty sure you know me lol since this is my website. I am a talented Administrative Assistant and aspiring Entrepreneur who lives here in the US. My hair texture is curly like Chrissy’s- not straight but kind of in between Chrissy and Jess’s hair textures. I believe when life got complicated, my own beauty routine simplified and I learned to love myself just as I am. My hope is to learn and share some inspiration and guidance to help raise a new generation of confident Boricua women who love their natural hair.

At this point, I’ve left the years of hating my own hair behind. I’ve been the girl with long hair in ponytails, then the adolescent with a perm and later the young adult slaved to the blow-dryer. Many Boricua women still wake up in the morning, stand in front of the mirror and ask the Shakespearian question: To be or not to be grifa? Do we really look better with straight hair? That’s what I thought all adolescence long.

Many of us have gone through this, struggling to define the best way to wear our hair that may or may not fit with what we imagine perfect beauty to be. The issues of whether to wear hair naturally or manipulate it to conform to some ideal, to make it look like somebody else’s, be it the prettiest doll, the telenovela’s lead actress, or the hottest Hollywood star, still remains.

Because let’s be frank here, I’m talking mainly about curly hair, and all levels of it from wavy to Afro. If you have straight hair, you are already a level closer to that “perfect look” society celebrates. For me, and I’m sure other Puerto Rican sisters, the issue of whether and just how to embrace hair has long been a question to grapple with.

My go-to favorite hair care products are everything OGX Coconut. It gives perfect curl definition and essential hydration from root to tip which is extremely important for my hair type.

This is my review on OGX Coconut:

Why I Love It…It’s like a trip to the tropics in a bottle.

Why You Want It…The luxuriously creamy, foamy, hydrating formula leaves your hair feeling clean, glowing, softly scented and super soft.

What’s In It For You…Coconut milk and ultra whipped egg white proteins along with weightless coconut oil to hydrate and nourish your hair as gentle cleansers wash away impurities.

What It’s In…Organix bottles are eco-friendly, manufactured from materials containing recycled post-consumer resin. All labels are printed utilizing environmental inks and compostable label film made from annually renewable resource corn, no from petrochemicals.

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Now, I’d like to move on to how I take care of my beautiful curls.

“My hair routine, is I wash it with OGX Coconut Line (I switch up from time to time but stick with the same line.) I then soak it with conditioner let it sit for like 10 min and wash it out. After which, I comb it section by section it takes about 20 min to do my hair.”

“I apply my fav styling product after I comb my hair.”

  • OGX Coconut Curls Hair Butter

(Or)

  • OGX Coconut Curls Nourishing Conditioner
  • TRESemme Mousse

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“People call me for my reputation, I’m honest and I believe in haircare. Once you apply a chemical treatment and seal it with a flat iron, your hair will never be the same. It could look beautiful, but it is not healthy. Being beautiful is taking care of you. Caring for your hair from the root, not only the surface.”

In my opinion we all count on different things to help us feel confident. Hair is one of those things. Almost all of the women remembered hair care time during their childhood as bonding time with their mothers or grandmothers, some hold sweet memories and some painful ones. Natural hair, whether curly or not, is beautiful and part of who we are.

These interviews gave me a trove of tips, inspiration, and guidance for a decade of raising a beautiful, confident young lady. In spite of the diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and hair types the women I interviewed had, we can all agree on the need to respect and honor our heritage. We have an opportunity now to redefine the concept of Puerto Rican beauty and aesthetics to include all of our colors and textures, especially our grifas. All the women I interviewed agreed that a beautiful woman is a confident woman. Confidence makes a woman beautiful from the inside out.

As always, I’d love to thank my readers for reading this. I hope this has inspired my Boricuas to love their hair more. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post my friends and I have put together for you.

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@jessdesignsjewelry

Hola y Bienvenido!!

Today, I wanted to show off my Puerto Rican Pride by showing ya’ll these amazing pieces made by a Boricua for Boricuas like you and me.

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I recently got these amazing pieces from @jessdesignsjewelry from Instagram. She, is a reputable jewelry designer and makes amazing and beautiful pieces. Currently, she is working on putting her website together but in the mean time the best way to get ahold of her and order these exact pieces as well as amazing others is to contact her directly through email: JessDesignsJewelry@gmail.com

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Custom handmade jewelry made with much love, long hours and dedication to the crafting of such beautiful creations. Please, go to Instagram to check out her other beautiful and stylish pieces!

Puerto Rico The Long Road To Recovery

Hola y Bienvenido!

Welcome back friends and family as I attempt to update you on Puerto Rico’s long road to recovery. I want people to understand just what really is happening for our friends and family on the isla de Puerto Rico. I feel like you need to know the severity of the aftermath Irma left behind.

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Yesterday, President Donald Trump was to visit Puerto Rico along with the U.S. Virgin Islands to view Hurricane Irma relief efforts in the territories first hand. This is good, because he needs to see the real devastation and crisis that is really happening over there on the isla because we are part of the US whether we want to be or not. And, I feel as the president he should help my isla de Puerto Rico.

The governor said that Puerto Rico will host about 3,000 victims of Irma from the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean countries that suffered a direct hit from what was then a e Category 5 storm. Pictured below is a little girl looking for clothes in one of the many hurricane relief facilities.

A child looks at donated clothes at a convention centre for Caribbean refugees whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Irma, in San JuanAs, I’ve spoken about previously in recent posts over 500,000 people lost power in Puerto Rico, which avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Irma after the storm tracked just north of the island. But hurricane force winds in some places reached 100 miles per hour, causing a crumbling power grid to falter, and officials warned it could take months to fully restore power in parts of the island.

More than half the island of Puerto Rico was without power, leaving 900,000 in the dark and nearly 50,000 without water, the U.S. territory’s emergency management agency said in the midst of the storm. Fourteen hospitals were using generators after losing power, and trees and light poles were strewn across roads.

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The Govenor of Puerto Rico Rosselló said Thursday that power has been restored to more than 90 percent of Puerto Rico after 75 percent of the island lost power when Irma passed just north of San Juan on Sept. 6. He’s been in regular communication with the White House over the past week and said that White House officials have pledged to support Puerto Rico’s needs. Puerto Rico sustained an estimated $1 billion in damage from Irma, up from an initial estimate of $600 million.

Puerto Rico has suffered serious damage from Hurricane Irma, adding yet another problem to the pile. Without serious federal help, this crisis will continue indefinitely.

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Here is what the Governor of Puerto Rico had to say yesterday, “We will start making the proper arrangements so that we can mitigate future impacts,” Rosselló said, adding that he has talked with Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and other leaders in Congress about Puerto Rico’s needs.

“Some of these infrastructures were designed for 155mph winds, they don’t do that anymore so we really need to make sure that whatever efforts and whatever funding we’re getting we can use…it to mitigate in the future.”

“This could provoke a $30 billion higher expenditure on health care for the United States as a whole,” Rosselló said. “Should we address the problem in Puerto Rico it would be a longer term, less costly solution for the United States.”

59af2c738732a.imageWhat Puerto Rico needs right now is a big check from the federal government to get its economy re-pressurized, coupled to a debt restructuring and partial write-down to get it on a realistic repayment schedule. This would ideally be coupled to a thorough economic overhaul, and finally U.S. statehood. “Structural reform” has become a dirty word due to it usually being code for austerity and neoliberal assault on workers, but Puerto Rico’s economy really does need work. Its labor force participation rate and productivity are low, its unemployment and poverty rate is high. Those problems will not be solved with budget cuts, but they are real problems.

In June 2016, Congress and President Obama passed a bill supposedly to address the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, by imposing external dictatorship on the island. Called the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (or PROMESA), it placed an unelected seven-member board in total control of all important policy. You’re probably wondering if Obama did the right thing? The answer to that is,”No.”

The supposed justification was to give the island some way to get through bankruptcy. In reality it has set the island up for a decade of mass unemployment and crisis — without remotely fixing the debt problem. It’s no accident the locals call the board “La Junta.” 

BN-VC293_IRMAUS_P_20170913120045Puerto Rico got into debt trouble through a combination of odd tax loopholes, irresponsible governance, and even more irresponsible lending. The details are complicated, but the most important thing to remember is that every bad loan has two parents, borrower and lender. If it was irresponsible to take money, it was even more irresponsible to give it to an entity that was clearly in over its head. Other Wall Street goons in the form of “vulture funds” have been downright predatory, buying up abandoned debt on the secondary market for a small fraction of its face value, then filing a blizzard of lawsuits to get the government to force Puerto Rico to pay up in full, by cannibalizing its public infrastructure.

The other thing that must be remembered is that the austerity always demanded by creditors during a debt crisis is straightforwardly self-defeating. As many countries have demonstrated since the 2008 financial crisis, austerity during a depression makes a debt problem worse, by strangling the economy and reducing tax revenue. It’s like trying to undertake heavy manual labor while on a starvation diet — you just make yourself weak and sick.

julian-falgons-caribbean-luxury-rentals-Why-You-Should-Stay-in-Rio-Grande-When-Visiting-Puerto-Rico.jpegIf Congress does not reauthorize funding for Puerto Rico’s health care system, it could run out of money by March 2018.

Rosselló was in Washington on Thursday with Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González and a host of other current and former senior officials from the territory. Their message, in addition to making sure that Puerto Rico gets enough federal help after Irma, is that Congress must act to ensure that the territory’s health care system remains solvent and that the territory must be included if Congress passes an overhaul of the nation’s tax system.

And leaders from the island are making the pitch to Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, who chairs the tax writing committee in Congress, that Puerto Rico must be included in any plan to overhaul the nation’s tax system.

“Puerto Rico has the peculiarity of being treated domestic for some things, but is foreign for tax purposes,” Rosselló said. “If Puerto Rico is not included in this tax reform, it will be a devastating blow to our economy and to our growth potential.”

puertoricoAs the days and weeks progress I will try my hardest to keep up with the disaster relief in Puerto Rico and keep ya’ll updated with any new developments as I can get ahold of such information. Like I’ve said in pervious coverage posts it is very hard to get any information on what is happening in Puerto Rico.

Please continue to pray for Puerto Rico as well as the other islands in the Caribbean. My thoughts and prayers are with the many families from my isla as well as the other places that were majorly hit in the path of hurricane Irma. As always, I’d like to thank each and everyone of you for reading this as I mentioned earlier Puerto Rico is barely gaining any media coverage.

Just know we the people of Puerto Rico, we are strong and we are survivors and we will get through this together!

Wepaaaaaaaa!!

 

Puerto Rico Strong Update On What My Isla Is Doing Now

Hola y Bienvenidos!

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I’d like to welcome you back today to update you on what is currently happening on my isla. Puerto Rico is truly made of strong people. We are survivors!

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Saddled with economic problems and its own damage from Hurricane Irma, Puerto Rico is taking thousands of refugees from the U.S. Virgin Islands whose homes were destroyed by the storm, with a cruise ship carrying up to 2,000 more which set sail for the U.S. territory on Wednesday. Government-led missions have also been evacuating people from the islands to Puerto Rico. Some 1,200 mostly American citizens, have been carried from Saint Martin and Saint Thomas in six C130 aircraft, and more than 50 patients have been airlifted to Puerto Rican hospitals, officials said.

Visibly shaken residents from St. Martin and the Virgin Islands arrived on Tuesday on U.S. military aircraft, bringing tales of terrifying winds and a breakdown of law and order.

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FAJARDO, P.R. — Puerto Rico, dealt only a glancing blow by Hurricane Irma, has become an impromptu emergency hub for its Caribbean neighbors that were left devastated by the storm’s wrath.

Puerto Ricans relieved at being spared the worst destruction donated water, clothing, first aid and other supplies, and dozens of recreational boaters sailed to nearby islands to deliver the assistance and evacuate now-homeless islanders on the return trip. A 54-foot dive boat named the Tobias cast off on Sunday morning from the marina here, the largest in the Caribbean, and made its way eastward under a searing sun to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, the fourth vessel of that day to make the trip. It would return later crowded to capacity with 46 St. Thomas residents escaping the near-total devastation of the island.

11puerto-02-master675The storm, which struck the islands first, swiftly knocked out power and phone service, leaving their residents disconnected from the outside world. As displaced islanders began to trickle in to Puerto Rico in the storm’s wake, so did their stories of the wreckage they had fled.

I am truly amazed at how strong my people really are, this is what two of the refugees had to say about being rescued and evacuated to the isla:

“God bless Puerto Rico and the hearts because you guys are struggling. And from the hardest struggle, that’s where the real people come out,” Vonfabrice said, thanking Puerto Rico for sending food, water and ships to the Virgin Islands.

“The people of Puerto Rico – what big hearts you guys got because our (local) government did nothing – nothing,” said William Vonfabrice, 61, from St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. “People coming at us with machetes, offering bullets and saying ‘There is more for you,’ breaking into houses, hurting people.”

Britain’s government said local authorities had imposed a curfew on the British Virgin islands, where locals complained of widespread looting and violent crime after Irma.

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A Puerto Rico government spokeswoman said the financial situation and expected length of stay of the 2,000 refugees to arrive in San Juan was still unclear, but that expenses would be covered by emergency federal funding.

Puerto Rico has set up a large convention center to house refugees who cannot afford to go to a hotel. Speaking of hotels Puerto Rico’s tourism infrastructure has allowed the island to resume regular operations of hotels, sites and attractions beginning this week. The island is continuing to welcome travellers with planned vacations in September and beyond, and has also become a transient hub for travellers across the Caribbean. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company reports that nearly all hotels are operational and are receiving guests.

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Marriott hotels including San Juan Marriott, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and AC Hotel by Marriott welcomed approximately 700 guests from St. Thomas, St. Maarten and St. John.

While some power outages are present throughout the island, most of the island has power and the majority of the hotels, as well as essential services on the island such as hospitals and supermarkets, have electric service and are fully operational.

PR_flag_islandToday, we the people of Puerto Rico, are sending a strong loud and clear message to the world that we are strong and we are survivors! We’re American citizens. God bless my people and the isla of Puerto Rico!

Wepaaaaaaaaa!!

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Visitors with questions about travel to Puerto Rico can call the PRTC hotline at 877.976.2400 or call their hotels directly for more information.

 

 

 

 

Update On Puerto Rico After Hurricane Irma 2017

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Hola y Bienvenido!

In the past few days following the horrific hurricane Irma not much light has been shed on my beloved isla of Puerto Rico. Today, I’d like to give everyone an update on what is happening post Irma.

As Hurricane Irma loomed larger and larger in the first days of September, there was much media speculation about when and how it would “make landfall” in the United States. We were told initially that the storm “posed a major threat to the Caribbean and potentially to the United States in the next week.” Later we were informed that it was likely to “tear across the islands of the northern Caribbean and potentially slam into the US by the weekend or early that next week.” Then headlines announced: “Hurricane Irma slams Caribbean islands; expected to hit US next week.”

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The problem with all this storm coverage—which has dominated broadcast, print and digital reporting for the better part of two weeks—has been a stubborn lack of precision regarding what is the United States.

Everywhere was Florida this, Florida that. Even Georgia and the Carolinas too. Yes, Irma will be serious for the southeast, but when Florida could get round-the-clock attention about a storm that hadn’t even hit yet, while [Puerto Ricans] can barely get a mention or an update as it’s happening, that’s a problem. National media coverage was almost nonexistent.

space-atlantic-ocean-weather-hurricane-irmaPeople need to remember that we’re Americans too, we deserve the same response and relief efforts as people in Texas right now, or people in Florida. We need the United States to help our isla. Yes, Puerto Rico escaped the full impact of Hurricane Irma, but its perilous economic condition and crumbling infrastructure were affected nonetheless.

Trees and power lines are down all over Puerto Rico, including in the capital, San Juan, although damage to buildings across most of the territory was minimal. Crews moved through the streets, clearing branches with machetes. Wilfredo Adorno with a crew from the Department of Transportation says the electricity still hasn’t come back in most of San Juan.

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It’s returned in some places but not others. Officials from the national power company said 865,000 customers on the island are still without electricity down from just over a million yesterday. And just over 600,000 customers now have service. Eight of Puerto Rico’s 9 high-voltage power lines were damaged in the hurricane, and they’re not sure how long it’s going to take to fix them. Puerto Rico’s finances are now under the control of a control board appointed by Congress. In order to try to get the island’s debt under control, government workers have been laid off, and maintenance on the power grid has been deferred. All of these problems are snowballing in Puerto Rico.

As of Saturday evening, about 40 percent of the island did not have power and 13 percent of households were without water, according to local officials. That was down from 34 percent on Thursday, when Irma swept past. An estimated 15 of the 69 hospitals on the island were running on generators. In the wake of the storm, the power company had deployed hundreds of repair teams working 12-hour shifts to bring back power across the island.

Irma is illustrating how fragile Puerto Rico is right now. The territory has been slipping economically for a decade. Residents have been fleeing to the mainland U.S. for work. Puerto Rico essentially declared bankruptcy earlier this year because of billions of dollars in debt, and its infrastructure is falling apart.

 

The rebuilding process will be arduous, and expensive. Massive amounts of federal aid will be required by territories that experienced financial trouble long before this brutal storm season arrived. Puerto Rico has experienced fiscal turmoil in recent years at least in part because it is not allowed to respond to economic downturns in the same way states are, and because of the austerity agendas that have long been applied to US territories.

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The good news is a contingent of New York City first responders ​landed in Puerto Rico on Sunday to help out victims of Hurricane Irma. The group, which ​left the Big Apple by bus, flew from an Air Force base in Georgia to San Juan for deployment around the Caribbean.

 

The NYPD sent 39 members of the Finest, including five K-9 cops and their dogs, while the FDNY sent a combination of 40 firefighters and EMT workers. They’re scheduled to spend 14 days on relief efforts.

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It’s good news that President Trump opened up federal assistance for Puerto Rico by declaring a major disaster on Sunday, but disaster aid is only a temporary solution for my isla.

As the days and weeks progress I will try my hardest to keep up with the disaster relief in Puerto Rico and keep ya’ll updated with any new developments as I can get ahold of such information. Please. continue to pray for Puerto Rico as well as the other islands in the Caribbean. My thoughts and prayers are with the many families from my isla as well as the other places that were majorly hit in the path of hurricane Irma. As always, I’d like to thank each and everyone of you for reading this as I mentioned earlier Puerto Rico is barely gaining any media coverage.

 

 

Wunderbrow Tutorial 101

Hola y Bienvenido!

Today, I’m about to get up close and very personal something I don’t do much or should I say haven’t done much. I’m going to be showing you how to get the perfect brows by using Wunderbrow. I hope ya’ll enjoy this tutorial as much as I did making it for you.

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So, this is where I’m going to start lol. Remember when everyone wanted those ultra thin brows back in early 2000? Well, not so much anymore…. now everyone wants these thick lush sexy brows….or the natural thick brows we were all born with. Over the years of plucking and waxing sufficed to say as we get older our brows don’t grow as much anymore.

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If you know anything about me, it’s that I love a full brow, but I don’t like to actually do my brows….I mean seriously most of us are busy and don’t have the time. I’m sure, we’ve all seen the advertisements for Wunderbrow and like most of us we refuse to believe the hype so to speak.

In case your social media hasn’t been flooded with people talking about it, Wunderbrow is an eyebrow gel that bills itself as “waterproof, budge-proof, and transfer-proof.” People really seem to like it: It’s the third-most-purchased beauty product on Amazon. But, I actually went to the official site to purchase mine. Hell, my friends were asking me about it before I had even heard about it, that’s how far Wunderbrow’s reach has traveled. When my friends know about a beauty product before me, I know I have to investigate. So of course I went to the site and tried it.

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Since I have dark hair, I experimented with the Black/Brown color. (It comes in three other shades: Brunette, Auburn, and Blonde.) The Wunderbrow comes in a box with a gel and a brush applicator as well as a little black spoolie to help spread the gel once you put it on your brow. Looking at those items made me feel like this was going to be anything but an easy application (it takes very little to intimidate me), but ultimately it took less than a minute to get both of my brows ready for the world. All you have to do is swipe the gel over your brows and use the spoolie to even out the gel and make it look more natural. Warning: The gel goes on strong, so when you apply it, use a light touch.

I’m going to get into how I get the perfect brows step by step. First to grab everything you’re going to need to actually do your eyebrows. You’re going to need the Wunderbrow gel, the Wunderbrow Dual Precision brush, the Wundercleanse gel, tiny pair of scissors, tape, tweezers and a regular eye pencil. Once you have everything ready you’re officially ready to get your brow on.

Step 1: 

Start with a clean well moisturized face.

Step 2:

Tweeze any stray hairs from your brow.

Step 3:

Next you’re going to want to use the Wunderbrow Dual Brush to brush up your brows.

Step 4:

After you’ve brush up your brows you’re going to want to take your scissors to trim them into shape.

 

Now, that you’ve done that next you’re going to want to take your eye pencil and mark your 3 dots to make your brows. This, is really important because you want to make sure they aren’t too short because then they’re just going to look extra retarded.

So, I’m sure you’ve been wonder when is she going to get to the tape and what is she going to do with it? Here is where I’m going to explain the tape. You’re going to want to take your tape and cut it about 1 inch then after you’ve done that you’re going to want to cut it in half. Or, you could just use office tape which is way smaller and you won’t need to cut it down the center. After you have your tape ready use the straight side of the tape and line it up underneath your brows.

What You Will Need For This Part:

  • Wunderbrow gel
  • Wunderbrow Dual brush
  • Wundercleanse gel

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Now, you’re ready to start drawing your perfect brow. Take your Wunderbrow Dual brush and with the tip lightly dip it on the Wunderbrow gel want and apply it to your brow with the tape being your guided straight edge.

Once, you’ve made your straight lines under your brows then gently remove the tape and then using the same tape or new tape reapply it to the top of your brows. And then do the same technique you used below your brows to the top of your brows.

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This is how they should look before you gently remove the tape from the top of your brows. Yes, in most cases they will look a lil messy but no worries it’s perfectly fine you can always clean them up later.

To Clean Up And Straighten Your Brows Here Is What You Need:

  • Wundercleanse gel
  • Tape
  • Cotton Swab

If, you find that your brows aren’t all the way straight or perfect like you want them all you’ll need to do is place a thin piece of tape with the straight edge against the front of your brow and the put a little of the Wundercleanse gel on your cotton swab and gently rub away the excess Wunderbrow gel infront of where you placed your tape.

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After you remove your tape your brows should look something like this. See how straight they are? Perfecto! If you’re getting nervous wondering how the hell to take Wunderbrow off, you can try my method and furiously scrub makeup remover on it for about five minutes. Or you could buy a tube of the Wundercleanse Eyebrow Gel Remover, which, OK, is a lot simpler.
Would I recommend Wunderbrow? Yes. Is Wunderbrow better than getting your eyebrows tattooed? Of course not. But Wunderbrow costs only $22 and lasts for two to three days, so I can deal with taking a few minutes out of my week to do my brows, and save money for a vacation.

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As always I’d love to thank you for reading this as you have diligently read all my other posts. It has been my pleasure to put this tutorial together for you hopefully you like it and maybe consider a new way to make your brows the perfect brows.

http://www.wunderbrow.com/w/tour/product.aspx

 

My Daily Exercise Routine

Bienvenido!

Today, I’d like to share with you my daily exercise routine. I feel that being healthy and staying fit is very important. Well, it’s important to me. Fitness means being able to perform physical activity. It also means having the energy and strength to feel as good as possible. Getting more fit, even a little bit, can improve your health.

Exercise is about more than keeping in shape. It also can help with your emotional and mental health. Exercise can help you improve your self-esteem, keep your mind off problems, and give you a sense of control. In general, people who are fit have less anxiety, depression, and stress than people who are not active.

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Research suggests that exercise can help specific mental health problems. Exercise may help prevent depression from coming back (relapse) and improve symptoms of mild depression.

Be safe while you exercise that is key!

Moderate exercise is safe for most people, but it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before increasing your activity. Anyone age 65 or older should talk with a doctor before exercise.

  • Start slowly, and gradually increase how much you exercise.
  • Stop exercising if you have severe pain, especially chest pain, or severe problems breathing. Talk with your doctor about these symptoms.
  • People who are likely to have high anxiety or panic may have an episode during exercise because of the buildup of certain body chemicals (such as lactic acid) from exercise. If you have any problems during exercise, talk with your doctor.

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Tips for being active

It can be hard to be active when you feel depressed or anxious or have a mental health problem. But activity can help you feel better, so do your best to find a way to be active. It’s fine to start with small steps. You can build up from a few minutes a day.

  • Don’t overdo it. Start with simple exercises, such as walking, bicycling, swimming, or jogging.
  • Warm up your muscles for about 5 minutes before you start exercising. To do this, you can walk, slowly move your arms and legs, or do simple muscle stretches.
  • Use the talk-sing test to see whether you’re exercising at the right pace.
  • If you can talk during exercise, you’re doing fine.
  • If you can sing during exercise, you can exercise a little faster or harder.
  • If you are not able to talk, you’re probably exercising too hard. Slow down a bit.
  • Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes after you exercise. It’s okay to do some stretching exercises during cooldown.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise.
  • You can make daily activities part of your exercise program. You can: Walk to work or to do errands.
  • Push a lawn mower, rake leaves, or shovel snow.
  • Vacuum or sweep.
  • Play actively with your children, or walk the dog.

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Do your best to slowly work up to moderate activity for at least 2½ hours a week. Moderate activity means things like brisk walking, brisk cycling, or shooting baskets. But any activities-including daily chores-that raise your heart rate can be included. Find a pace that is comfortable. You can be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

If you have problems exercising on your own, ask someone to exercise with you or join an exercise group or health club.

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Below, I have compiled a few list of exercises that I do daily and not all at once either so please don’t get overwhelmed. I do at least one or two from each group everyday and I switch up weekly with the routines. Start out slowly as I mentioned. I recommend starting out doing 3 sets of 10 then work your way up from there so you won’t throw your body into shock or strain any muscles.

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A List Of The Best Chest Exercises

Flat Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Decline Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press
Flat Chest Press Machine
Incline Chest Press Machine
Decline Chest Press Machine
Dips (on parallel bars with slight forward lean)
Push-Ups
Flat Dumbbell Flyes
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
Decline Dumbbell Flyes
Pec Deck Machine
Cable Crossovers/Cable Flyes

A List Of The Best Back Exercises

Pull-Ups
Chin-Ups
Lat Pull-Downs
Bent Over Barbell or Dumbbell Rows
T-Bar Rows
Seated Cable Rows
Chest Supported Barbell or Dumbbell Rows
Chest Supported Machine Rows
Inverted Rows
Barbell, Dumbbell or Machine Shrugs

A List Of The Best Shoulder Exercises

Seated Overhead Barbell or Dumbbell Press
Standing Overhead Barbell or Dumbbell Press
Overhead Machine Press
Arnold Press
Barbell, Dumbbell or Machine Upright Rows
Dumbbell, Cable or Machine Lateral Raises
Dumbbell, Cable or Machine Front Raises
Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machine Rear Delt Rows, Raises or Flyes

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A List Of The Best Quadriceps Exercises

Barbell or Dumbbell Squats
Barbell or Dumbbell Front Squats
Barbell or Dumbbell Split Squats
Barbell or Dumbbell Lunges
Barbell or Dumbbell Step-Ups
Leg Press
Single Leg Press
Machine Squat/Hack Squat
Leg Extensions

A List Of The Best Hamstring Exercises

Barbell or Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
Barbell or Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlifts
Barbell or Dumbbell Sumo Deadlifts
Glute-Ham Raises
Hyperextensions
Cable Pull-Throughs
Good-Mornings
Leg Curls

A List Of The Best Biceps Exercises

Standing Barbell or Dumbbell Curls
Barbell or Dumbbell Preacher Curls
Seated Dumbbell Curls
Incline Dumbbell Curls
Hammer Curls
Concentration Curls
Cable Curls
Biceps Curl Machine

A List Of The Best Triceps Exercises

Dips (on parallel bars, elbows close to body, without forward lean)
Flat Close Grip Bench Press
Decline Close Grip Bench Press
Close Grip Push-Ups
Laying Barbell or Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
Skull Crushers
Overhead Barbell or Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
Cable Press-Downs
Bench Dips

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So, there you go, a big list of exercises for each muscle group. I eventually plan on writing descriptions of each along with pictures and videos showing proper form at some point in the future, but for now it’s just a big list.

And this is in no way meant to be the definitive list of EVERY exercise in existence, by the way. While it is pretty damn comprehensive (especially in terms of what is considered best and most popular), some stuff has been left out.

I mean, for a majority of the exercises mentioned, I could have listed various minor variations of each based on the type of grip (pronated, supinated, neutral), how wide or narrow the grip or stance is, the specific placement of the bench/seat height, and on and on and on.

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However, to avoid being unnecessarily repetitive, I decided not to get THAT specific. So, if you’re looking for additional exercises beyond what’s on this list, just know that minor variations (like the ones I just mentioned) can be made to many of them if desired.

As always, a huge thank you for reading this post and I hope it inspires you to get up get out and start moving to make yourself be the best part of you that you can possibly be!

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Where to find everything I have pictured:

Leggings pictured in the first pic can be found @ https://www.fabletics.com/

Chug Life Water Bottle pictured can be found @ https://www.amazon.com/victorias-secret-water-bottle-purple/dp/b0124wkc0y

**Adidas Leggings, Nike Leggings, Nike shoes are unfortunately not sold anymore.

Adidas Samba Soccer Indoor Shoes can be found @ http://www.adidas.com/us/samba

Adidas Superstar Soccer Indoor Shoes can be found @ http://www.journeys.com

**Exercise Ball, weights, jump rope can be purchased from any Target, Walmart, Academy Sports and Outdoors, or online.

 

Puerto Rico y Hurricane Irma 2017

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Bienvenido!

Today, I’d like to share with you my dedicated readers and friends the current situation of my beloved homeland my isla. Hurricane Irma’s wrath in the Caribbean left at least seven people dead and thousands of others without homes on Thursday and the vicious storm isn’t done yet with its sights now set on Florida. Three deaths have been reported from Puerto Rico. Winds blowing at 185 miles per hour for at least 24 straight hours, the Category 5 storm is said to be the strongest ever recorded in the open Atlantic Ocean.

 

Hurricane Irma plunged more than 1 million Puerto Rican homes and businesses into the dark, swamped homes and clogged roads with debris but didn’t appear to deliver widespread destruction to the Caribbean island as it roared offshore. The eye of the Category 5 storm, packing 185 mph winds, rumbled about 30 miles north of Puerto Rico, sending more than 6,200 people and 500 pets scurrying to shelters across the island.

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One million people were without power in Puerto Rico on Thursday as the eye of the storm passed just north of the U.S. territory. Downed light posts and blocked roadways were common and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló warned of more flooding and rain through Saturday.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló praised the work of residents and emergency crews in heeding calls to evacuate flood-prone areas but warned heavy rains were still moving through parts of the island and urged everyone to remain vigilant.

“The people of Puerto Rico responded to the call for preparation and took this event seriously,” Rosselló said Thursday. “Your actions saved lives.”

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Ricardo Ramos, chief executive of the island’s electric utility, said about two-thirds of the island’s electric customers — more than 1 million — were without power late Wednesday. More than 56,000 people were without potable water.

Still, because Puerto Rico was spared a direct hit, Rosselló said more than 40 percent of the island’s hospitals were still operating thanks to generators.

As Irma marched toward the Dominican Republic and Cuba, it left a deluge of rain and swollen waterways across Puerto Rico, an island of 3.4 million people. Seven rivers throughout Puerto Rico were running above flood levels and as much as 12 rains fell on some parts of the island, according to the National Weather Service in San Juan. More rain was expected through Friday, especially in the south and southwest.

space-atlantic-ocean-weather-hurricane-irmaThe main challenge ahead is returning power to the more than 1 million customers — nearly 70% of the island — without electricity. Residents also struggled without water in some areas as officials dispatched work crews early Thursday to return the much-needed services.

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“It could have been far worse” for Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday. “They really escaped the brunt” of Irma’s wrath.

On Wednesday, travelers hoping to flee the island aboard a JetBlue and American Airlines flight were forced to shelter in San Juan when those flights were turned around in the air, as Hurricane Irma’s outer bands menaced the island. A Delta Airlines flight made it to San Juan around the same time and ferried travelers back to New York in an event widely shared across social media.

Ports on the island remained closed Thursday, and it was unclear when commercial flights would resume. Schools and government offices are scheduled to reopen Monday.

puerto-rico-irma-damamge-03-jef-170907_4x3_992Though largely sparing my isla Puerto Rico, Hurricane Irma cut a devastating path across the northern Caribbean, leaving at least 10 dead and thousands homeless in places like Antigua, Barbuda and St. Martin.

Puerto Rico hadn’t seen a hurricane of Irma’s magnitude since San Felipe in 1928, which killed 2,748 people in Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico and Florida.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and I plead with you to pray for Puerto Rico as well as the other islands in the Caribbean. God bless us and be with us all.

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Editors Note as of 9/8/17 @ 10:36p

The 3 deaths in Puerto Rico were at least loosely linked to Irma. One person died from a fall while being taken to a shelter, another was killed in a car crash; a third died of electrocution, the governor of Puerto Rico said.