EVENT: Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party With Cas Rum Beverages Fri. 3/9/18

Wukkoutcasrum

Your girl has been a little quiet on the blog front, but it is all for good reason. If you have been following my adventures on Instagram, you would have seen that I have been traveling a lot more, maintaining my fitness, and pouring up dranks. For the past few years, I have been testing out Cas Rum Beverages, a line of bottled rum cocktails with Belizean flair. My goal in creating these beverages has been to share it with the community, and in doing so, share my Belizean heritage with each glass.

For the past month, I started taking the Wukkout community class at the Athleta flagship store on 5th Ave. Founded by Krista Martins, a dancer and choreographer of Guyanese descent, Wukkout is a Caribbean dance fitness class led by soca tunes to have you feel like you are “pon di road” (aka marching on the road for Carnival). I really love the energy of class and immediately thought it would be great to collaborate on an event with Krista, and HERE WE ARE!

To kick off Women’s History Month, Wukkout is holding a special class and shopping party, with ya girl providing delicious rum punch to chill out after class, and encourage purchasing of lovely fitness apparel from Athleta. You may RSVP here. Class spots may already be gone, but you can definitely slide through for the shopping party and fashion show!

Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party

Fri, March 9, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

And if all that wasn’t enough, and you can’t make it, all friends of Wukkout receive 25% off their purchase at Athleta.

Wukkout!

See you there!

Lookbook: Just Kicking It With Wear It To Heart Holiday ’17, Captured By Kermit Mercado

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Oh, hello there!

For those of you that have been following my musings on this here blog, you know that I am big into fitness. Even when I am not breaking a sweat, I gravitate to active options, whether they be a fly pair of running sneakers, cool leggings, or a cozy hoodie, as I truly value the intersection of comfort and function. When the wonderful team at Wear It To Heart reached out to ask if I would be interested in collaborating to showcase some goodies from their Holiday ’17 collection, I immediately said yes. I have featured the brand on my site in the past, and own a few pairs of their leggings already, so I felt it was the perfect fit.

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Will I get taller if I continue stretching this way?

I was given a few options of looks to pick from, all including a sports bra and leggings, and like the TRUE Yorker that I am, gravitated to the mostly black option from the Foxy collection.  I chose the  Foxy Crewneck Bra and Foxy Boundless Leggings. Once I received the products, I was so happy with the hand-feel, super soft to the touch with a dense denier, so no see-thru leggings over here! I tried on the full ‘fit and immediately fell in love; it felt like a second skin. Wear It To Heart’s garments use a 4-way stretch, so they move the way you move.

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Welcome to the gun show!

I brainstormed a million photoshoot ideas. Would this be a purely product-focused activewear shoot? Would I show the versatility of the look and how it can transition from the gym to the streets? Would I be wearing cool kicks or barefoot? I went back and forth for weeks, admittedly, and decided to call up one of my buddies and fave photographer collaborators, Kermit Mercado. We decided we would just keep it simple, and this is what we created.

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Details on the Foxy Crewneck Sports Bra

The details on the sports bra were too good; a thoughtfully created narrow racerback to allow maximum movement with sheer laser cut elements. There are removable cups in the shelf bra to give shape and maintain modesty.

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Bedazzled legs & fancy feet

The pattern of the collection is reminiscent of fox fur, given the name. I enjoy the textural element it adds. With a sprinkle of black rhinestones below the knee on both the front and back of the left leg, you get a touch of pizazz that can likely lead your super comfy leggings from day to night.

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Kung Fu Dre

It is important for activewear to perform when you are active, yes? I tested this out by jumping, kicking, stretching, and just moving my body in all directions. While in action, the crew neck bra and Boundless leggings moved where I moved. I enjoyed the higher waist on the leggings. Being a woman with a near 15 inch waist to hip ratio, lower rise leggings are problematic as they slide down south and can be quite uncomfortable. Since this sat at my natural waist, I had no issues of peeking when I bent over.

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Are you excited to see me?

We played around a lot on camera, and while we did get so many amazing shots, the silly ones are some of my favorites. I call this look the “I haven’t seen you in ten years and you brought me my favorite dish.”

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That’s All Folks!

Are you digging the look? Head over to Wear It To Heart to get the lowdown on my look, and scope out the entire Holiday ’17 collection.

Purchase here:

Foxy Crewneck Bra

Foxy Boundless Leggings

 

Hair & Makeup by Andrea K. Castillo

All photos by Kermit Mercado

 

*I received complimentary apparel for this post

Springing Into Year Six Of The Blog: A Reflection

Walking Into Year SIX!

As I sit here composing this here post, I think to myself, “Where has all the time went?” On April 18, 2011, I created A Life In The Day of Andrea, publishing my first post detailing the inspiration behind the blog’s name, and what I would be writing about. In the now six years since its inception, my site has been the impetus to the majority of my work in writing (both editorial and otherwise), photography, video & film, and a major catalyst in meeting and connecting with interesting people and brands all over the world. As a freelancer with a varied skill set who is always trying to find creative and fulfilling ways to make a living, I admit that sometimes the blog, which was to be an extension of myself, has been neglected much over these past six years. I hear similar sentiments when I speak to my contemporaries in the blogosphere. Sometimes, we create this online space as a promotional tool, to show the world how cute we are to get modeling gigs, how impressionable we are to sell the products of others, and what a damn good writer we are to get writing gigs at respectable publications that we always dreamed of contributing to.

But how can one forget about themselves when that outlet for self (i.e. blog) is what got you to where you are right now? It is quite easy, by simply doing that, forgetting about oneself.

Always a silly moment

Reaching another April is always a reminder of starting something new, and for me, it has been one of my most reflective months of the past six years. Because of this, I overanalyze what I have done in the past 365 days from both a professional and personal standpoint and because I am a perfectionist (which I am actively working on ending); I often feel that I have fallen short. On this day, I look back and think why I haven’t properly promoted myself over these years? Why is my following so low? Why are people not reading my posts like they used to? Why are these newer bloggers getting all the campaigns that I’ve wanted for so long? All my questions have really boiled down to “What am I doing wrong?” Continue reading

In Photos: On The Ground At #WomensMarchOnWashington

We The People, artwork by Shephard Fairey

January 21, 2017. The day after the inauguration of a new president in the United States of America, whose name I refuse to say. The first day of a complete shift to a new regime and day of resistance marches all around the world. The premier event, the Women’s March on Washingtonwas held this morning and afternoon along Independence Ave., and it is on this day that I officially have become a part of the resistance.

You Cunt Touch This

As of this morning, I have been in Washington DC a few days, specifically to photograph Thursday evening’s Peace Ball at the new National Museum of African American History & Culture. Prior to today, I have not attended a march, and was super excited to do so as the timing was perfect, and I have never felt more strongly for the equal rights and progression of women all over the world. A group of six of us, all women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds, attended the march together, and the spirit in the air was incredibly positive. From our trip to the diner early this morning to fuel up pre-march, to getting to the Metro to head into downtown DC, 90% of the faces that were presented before us were of our fellow woman.

It almost felt as though every woman (and man) that had an opportunity to travel to or commute to DC for the march specifically, did. Arm in arm, outfitted in buttons, “pussy hats” (see below), and posters in hand, my photographic intent was to capture the words of the people via those posters.

 

Pussy Grabber

Central themes included that of women’s reproductive rights, immigration, rights of indigenous peoples and their land, sisterhood, denouncing the President and his authority, and solidarity. These themes were vocalized in the words of the vast array of speakers, including America Ferrera, Ashley Judd, Gloria Steinem, Janet Mock, Van Jones, Donna Hylton, and many many more.

Said Gloria Steinem in reference to our new president’s careless and immature use of social media (and possibly referencing Drake):

…that a Twitter finger does not become a trigger finger.

Police coming through Continue reading

A Life In the Day of Andrea Turns 5! A Photo Reflection.

You read that right. On this day in 2011, I published my first post ever on this here blog. I truly had no idea what I was doing at that time, just the fact that I was in the know when it came to happenings around NYC and abroad, that were usually fueled by my intense love for music. Honestly, I still don’t have it all together. In these years, my blog has had a multipurpose function, to share my personal thoughts and happenings in my life, and to introduce you to new things and interesting people. Because I care so much about what I do decide to cover or write about here, the blog has also served as a portfolio of sorts, helping me snag writing, social media, and event gigs with brands and people that I do admire.

April 2013. Photo: Ernest Estimé

The past five years of my life have not been that peachy, as in this time I have dealt with a ton of personal loss in the form of death of family members and friends, loss of stable jobs, and the loss of relationships. I don’t say this for you to take pity on me, but to peel back a layer on the actual life of the creator behind the blog. I have written on many accounts of my struggles with depression, sadness, and anxiety, and I thank each and every one of you who took the time to read, give advice, and wish me well. It is incredibly difficult to keep up with everything that is happening in your city when you are not the happiest with yourself. I have toyed with the idea of shutting A Life In The Day of Andrea numerous times as I started to drown in events and content.

Fab 5 Freddy posing in front one of his works

Fab 5 Freddy, 2013. Photo by me.

When I look back, it is very easy to feel a bit disappointed as I haven’t amassed tens of thousands of followers on social media to show brands and important people that I am worthy to work with. I did not start this platform to find fame, but to share my world. Having the opportunity to work with interesting people over the years has just been a bonus. With all that being said, I will not shut the site down, but fine tune my content to really be an extension of my life. Photography is a huge part of my expression, so I will get back to posting photos I have taken, and cool shoots I collaborate with friends on.

Caye Caulker, Belize 2014. Photo by me.

With that said, here are a few of my favorite images that I have taken, or were taken of me over the years. I hope you enjoy!

Alexandra Ferguson pillows, Gluk wine glass coaster, High Heel wine coaster, NEO (neoprene pillow)

Lifestyle shoot at Harlem Flo, 2012. Photo: Creative Jenius Agency

Coco O. dazzling the crowd with her sultry vocals.

Coco O. of Quadron, 2013. Photo by me.

Borbay on left and author Zack O'Malley Greenburg.

Borbay & Zack O’Malley Greenburg, 2014. Photo by me.

moeimacakes

Moeima, 2012. Photo by me.

Picture in picture, 2015. Photo by Kermit Mercado.

A Lovely Summer Evening At Brooklyn Museum Of Games, Sneaks & Eats. Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Happy to be outside

On a beautiful Thursday evening in Mid-July, I attended Brooklyn Museum’s “Art Off The Wall” series for their much anticipated, The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition. I had previously seen the exhibition on the day of the press preview (more to come on that), but was present for a discussion including an esteemed panel of female sneaker heads.

Once inside the museum’s lobby bursting at the seams with attendees for the Thursday evening adult programming, I bumped into my girl Gyasi. With camera in hand, she told me she was waiting for a friend, to which I replied, “Chill. I’m on the press list. You can be my photographer.”

And so, the evening began.

In the shadows

We walked around the ground floor and took some shots outside of the dining area as the sun was still beaming. I was feeling cool in my new super-fitted American Apparel skirt, and the natural light really caught the color combo well up top. We head back inside to view the panel, then went off to play in the FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit. FAILE, the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick McNeil, showcased various elements in their exhibit, including mixed media canvases, sculpture, neon wall art, and custom arcade games.

Readjusting my specs

Walking into the arcade portion of the exhibit was sensory overload. The walls and floors were covered in various new-school interpretations of old school movie posters, lit completely in black light, with sprinkles of neon light sculptures sprinkled throughout the space. I really enjoy the elements of lights captured in these photos.

Look at these arms!

After taking tons of photos in the black light, we shimmied over to The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, which includes some of the most iconic pairs of kicks over the years, and their origin.

This picture was me being silly prior to making a proper pose, but I enjoyed this better. Note how long my arms are.

Grade A tings!

The exhibit does take some time to walk through as there are so many pairs of sneakers on view with intricate backstories, and so many opportunities for photo ops. Gyasi got some great photos there, but once we were done, I had to eat.

We walked over to Dutch Boy Burger on Franklin Ave so I could get something to eat. In dire times, I feel burgers are the only thing that could save me, because red meat = protein + iron. I ordered their signature burger and fries (which was probably a terrible idea at 10 PM) and sipped on a glass of water.

Gyasi couldn’t stay, but snapped this photo of me looking like a creep in the window. The evening was truly lovely and unexpected, as I had no idea it would end with such beautiful photos. Keep capturing your summer folks!

*Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Lookbook: Let’s Get Active! Summer Fitness Looks For Yoga, Running, & More

I call this the, “Who dat?” look, Sunglasses by CRAP Eyewear

We are in the midst of summer, and you know what that means? Time to show some skin! You’ve probably been in the gym all winter and spring working on your summer body, but it’s not time to stop now. You’ve got to keep up that sexy body with summertime fitness in the best apparel that is both functional yet funky enough to wear post workout.

I teamed up with my buddy Kermit Mercado to collaborate on a fitness-inspired photo spread, highlighting looks for dance-inspired workouts, running, yoga, and more. Get into it.

Meet me on the dance floor!

If you love to dance like me, it is imperative to seek out dance classes and dance inspired workouts from time to time. This mesh back sports bra by Wear It To Heart in the cool Desert Magic print has great coverage with inner-shelf bra with pads to remain shape and modesty.

Mesh detail with matching leggings

Paired with leggings, this look can go from the studio to the street with ease. The higher neckline of the bra with mesh detail on the back is a stunner.

Keep that hair back!

To keep my curls out of my face while I dance up a storm, I enjoy invisibobble traceless hair ties. They don’t mark my curls, and can be used for countless hairstyles.

Downward Dog vibes

This sports bra and shorts pairing from Wear It To Heart is perfect for beach yoga or hot yoga. The fabrication wicks sweat and has a soft feel, whilst maintaining its shape, and staying in place while you move.

It is super important to remain hydrated, more so when working out in the hot summer months. I’m loving 1907 Alkaline water from New Zealand. It’s super light and fresh taste is perfect for my workouts, in a 1 liter size that gives me all the hydration I need.

Crow Pose in action

I really dig YogaSmoga apparel for my indoor yoga workouts as they are made of top notch fabrics with slight compression that keep everything in place. The Imagine Tank has an inner-shelf bra that is perfect for me as I have a smaller bust, and the Momentum Crop legging is super chic, and keeps the booty in place in more demanding poses.

Next level Chair Pose

For example, in this elevated Chair Pose, my leggings did not slide or sag, maintaining proper coverage. This image is actually the first time I was able to do a Chair Pose of this variation, and the prior photo is the first time I was able to do a Crow Pose. I’m getting there!

Knee hugs to prep for a run

Another thing that I really dig about YogaSmoga is that their apparel works seamlessly from my yoga workouts to a run. Wearing the same leggings, I ditch the tank for the Sneak n Peek sports bra with amazing compression to get in my miles.

Warrior III pose, great post run stretch

I usually end my runs with a bunch of stretches borrowed from yoga. My boobies stay in place in this look while I balance on one foot for this Warrior III pose, also called the “Superman Pose”.

Would you wear any of these looks for your next workout? Let a playa know! All links are throughout the story, so happy shopping to you!

*All photos by Kermit Mercado

What I’ve Been Up To: More Writing, Fitness, Food & Travel!

Mid “Running through the 6 with my woes”/ Photo: AKC

For the past few weeks, my posts here have been a little inconsistent, so I wanted to update you all on some of the new happenings in my life. Here is an update of my past few weeks in the realms of writing, fitness, food, and travel. It is “A Life In The Day of Andrea” after all!

 

I am a new “Cocktail Culture” contributor Societe Perrier

I’ve been following Perrier and their lifestyle blog Societe Perrier for some time now. I’ve been interested in contributing since 2011, but didn’t think my work was strong enough as I was fairly new to writing and blogging at the time. Fast forward to late December 2014. They start to communicate with me via social media, to me eventually landing a spot as a new Cocktail Culture contributor for NYC! I started in late May. You can check out my first post on antioxidant cocktails here.

 

I ran a great race at the Nike Women Toronto 15 K, and took 3 dance classes after

Dancing in my race shirt/Photo: CDC

On June 14th, I ran my first major race in ages at the Nike Women Toronto 15 K and finished strong! You can read the full backstory with images here. Post-race I decided to take a few dance classes at the City Dance Corps open house in downtown Toronto (because I’m crazy, apparently). I took jazz, ballet, and dancehall (bluck bluck!) classes, all thirty minutes each, and had a blast! The photo above is from my most challenging session, ballet. Thank you so much to my girl/fake sister Celina for having me.

 

A new “Liquid Culture” feature on Large Up

Arcachon Cremas/ Photo: AKC

I’ve been contributing food & drink pieces to Caribbean culture site Large Up since December of 2014, mainly my own Belizean family recipes. This was my first feature, focusing on a fledging Haitian-American cremas brand. You can read all about it here. Photos by yours truly also!

 

*BIG NEWS: I am a Staff Writer at super new journalism platform, SLANT*

I’m super excited to share this news. I am a Staff Writer for newly launched (like one week old NEW) journalism platform Slant. It is innovative as its model is crowdsourced journalism, allowing the ones who are experiencing the “news” to contribute and tell their own unique story. I love this idea, because I am really able to express myself in ways I may have not been able to on other platforms. Stay tuned for awesome music, personal, fashion, art & culture stories. In the meantime, you can read these that are now live.

My Super Awesome Hair Makeover at ARROJO Williamsburg w/ My Contest Winner, Jordanna!

BEFORE THE CUT & COLOR

On a rather normal day in mid-May, I was checking my e-mail and came across a rather exciting message in my iCloud account. I was perplexed as to how I was even receiving mail there, as I rarely use the account. I opened the message and see it is from Andrew Arrojo from ARROJO salon. I read the words “free cut & color, for you and a friend, in Williamsburg” and I almost dropped my phone. I had worked with the salon a few times in the past, and I was ecstatic for this opportunity as I was able to reenergize the relationship, transform my hair as it was in pretty bad shape, bring a friend, and not have to leave Brooklyn.

I was invited for the service in the afternoon of their new Williamsburg salon’s grand opening festivities, and given the chance to stay and network at the party in the evening. I brought Jordanna of The Fashionette with me, as she won my contest for a hair makeover.

JORDANNA PRE-CUT

We both came in with dark brown, rather limp tresses. Jordanna had been transitioning to natural hair for a few months, but wanted to go for a short pixie cut for summer, in a blue-black tone. I hadn’t cut my hair in about six months and wanted to do something fresh and new. I decided on warm caramel highlights and fresh layers that added movement, but kept the majority of my length.

FUNNY FACE WHILE LETTING MY CARAMEL HIGHLIGHTS SET IN

This selfie was obligatory as it really looked like my hair was plastic at this point. My colorist Lucy informed me that the plastic wrap helps process the color. My strands were bleached first then toned down to a warm caramel color.

JORDANNA GETTING HER BLUE/BLACK COLOR

Jordanna wanted to give her tresses more edge with this blue-black dye. As some of her strands were a little lighter from previous color, her process was a bit longer, but created an awesome result.

SIDE VIEW OF MY FINAL LOOK

I showed my stylist John an image that I found in a Google search of the type of cut I wanted. The layers were a bit whimsical with great length, just a little past my shoulder. I think he really nailed it as he great technique cutting my curly hair. I’ve had unfortunate cuts in the past where the curls don’t blend and are very boxy. I’m super happy with the cut, and the blowout he gave me.

EXCITEMENT WITH JORDANNA! LOVE HER EDGY PIXIE CUT

Look at how different we look! Isn’t Jordanna’s pixie awesome? Her stylist and colorist did an awesome job, and were really thoughtful and patient with her kinkier curls. I really want to stress the fact that ARROJO stylists are trained incredibly well. They can handle all hair types, from my thicker, wavy strands, to Jordanna’s finer, kinkier strands. I think we both got the look we wanted, and more.

FRONT VIEW OF MY FINAL LOOK

Here is my “sexy/quirky” selfie of my final look. Yes, I felt like a Victoria’s Secret model. That’s how I always want to feel after having my hair styled.

POSTED WITH MY COLORIST, LUCY

After the cut & style, there was the party! Here I am with my super awesome colorist Lucy. We hung out at the grand opening party with prosecco in hand. I was able to meet a bunch of great ARROJO stylists and team members, whilst jamming to the tunes of DJ Spinva (who also happens to be a colorist at the SoHo salon).

ARROJO Williamsburg offered me such a lovely experience, from the service and stylists to the overall vibe of the space. I will definitely be back. In the meantime, you should check them out for your next cut or color. Tell them Andrea sent you! 🙂

ARROJO Williamsburg

11 Broadway

Brooklyn, NY 11249

718.215.6625

 

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo for A Life In The Day of Andrea

I received a complimentary hair cut, color & style from ARROJO Williamsburg.

A Message To You, and Myself: OWN THAT SHIT!

A SNAP OF MY COCKTAIL TASTING AT NEW YORK TRAVEL FEST

As a young professional woman, at times, I can say the odds are against me. Those odds are raised as a young professional woman of color; not an opinion, but pure fact. It is fact that there is a lack of melanin and varied hair textures in higher management and executive positions across all fields. It is fact that we earn less than our male counterparts. It is fact that we receive more discrimination, whether it be simply for our gender, sexuality, race, or any other reason under the sun. This can put a damper on my and your mood, given your circumstance, but in these times, I always need to remind myself that things can be exponentially worse.

The simple fact in that my parents decided to uproot themselves from Belize to provide a “better life” for their children in the United States has granted me many opportunities, specifically in education and the workforce. Being in New York City has been beneficial for me as it is an epicenter for entertainment and media. Things are within my reach, I would say. I do not remain complacent, although at times, I do struggle with a bit of a sense of entitlement, given the fact that I really hit the ground running building industry contacts since the age of 18. That is now ten years.

MY BADGE FOR THE COINVENT MEDIA SUMMIT

I’ve always been a dreamer, but very vocal in what I’ve wanted and continue to want. That voice and will has afforded me great opportunities, but I can say to this date, I can get overwhelmed. Something as simple as being able to be in the same room as one of your idols, or better yet, have a conversation with them; that’s a HUGE DEAL. I look back at emails, and photos, and writings, and I am often taken aback by goals that I have achieved without even realizing it. I have also realized that in times like these, I need to give myself a pat on the back because it was not pure luck which brought these things into my life, it was through tons of hard work and relationship building. I DESERVE IT. And I am here to tell you that you deserve all the incredible opportunities that come into your life as well.

In the past week and a half, I presented & did a tasting at the New York Travel Fest on behalf of my fledgling beverage company Cas Rum Beverages, I was invited to attend the CoInvent Media Summit, which focused on the intersection of media and tech, and attended the final day of the Women In The World Summit, which featured a special presentation and call to action by Angelina Jolie Pitt. Sounds like a lot right? And I can say it is, especially in such a short time, but I know this is all happening now because I’ve truly worked so hard over the years to get to this point.

BLURRY IPHONE PHOTO OF ANGELINA JOLIE PITT AT WOMEN IN THE WORLD

I’ve got a long way to go, but I am reminded each day that I am truly on the right path. Don’t beat yourself up. With each missed connection and sleepless night, you are preparing yourself for something great. Trust your journey.

WOMANday: Celebrating 4 Years of ‘A Life In The Day of Andrea’ in Video, by JL Brown

Friends. This week has been particularly exciting for me as this is birthday week for the blog that you read before your eyes. I started A Life In The Day of Andrea on April 18, 2011 as a means to share music and events that I thought would be interesting for my friends and others. I have grown much as a person in those four years, and the blog has too; attracting more international readers, brands, personalities, and overall awesome people.

To celebrate 4 years, I’ve collaborated with my good friend JL Brown on a promo video of sorts of what A Life In The Day of Andrea really looks like! Press play up top to get into it. I truly appreciate your continued support, and I can’t wait to show you more in the not too distant future!

WOMANday: ‘So…What Are You Training For?’ An Explanation In Words About My Road to Nike Women’s 15 K Toronto

Stretching out my arms at NTC Gym

A little over a month ago, I shared a story with you all regarding getting back into running, and creating a fitness regimen for myself via complimentary weekly classes offered by Nike + NYC. Now, finishing out my third month of training and running with Nike +, I am seeing results and building up stamina, attending up to five sessions a week.

Instructor Traci Copeland helping me with my Triangle Pose

I like to cross train, meaning I like to vary my activity from day to day as to not overwork muscles, or worse, injure myself. Monday nights I attend NTC Gym which is a power-packed gym class utilizing one’s own body weight. Tuesday evenings are for Speed Run (if I can get in) at Mile High Run Club, a treadmill class of varying intervals to build speed and strength. Thursday mornings I attend NTC Studio yoga to focus on stretching, balance, and building my core. Weekends are usually light, but every now and then, I will attend the H.I.T. & Run on Sunday, which is a mix of high intensity training and running drills.

My confirmation for the race!

When I first began, and even still now, many people close to me would ask, “So…what are you training for?”. Being the smartass that I am, I would usually respond “For life”, mainly because there was no specific event that I was training for. I wanted to be physically stronger, and had a goal of running at least one race by summertime. As of this month, I am closer to that goal as I am officially registered to run the Nike Women’s 15 K in Toronto!

Team work

Being a part of Nike + NYC granted me a guaranteed spot in the race which will be held on June 14, 2015. I’m really focusing on becoming a stronger and faster runner, with the help of my coaches and friends who will be running with me come June. I’m really excited for this journey, and so happy to be visiting Toronto to catch up with some of my favorite people.

This is just the beginning.

 

*Photos courtesy of Nike + NYC

WOMANday: 2014, A Year of New Experiences To Add To A Life In The Day of Andrea!

On this last day of 2014, I wanted to take a look back on the year. Filled with incredible moments, I wanted to focus specifically on those moments that I experienced for the first time. In doing so, I came up with a pretty hefty list, which I am happy to share with you all in photos. Always move forward, challenge yourself, and don’t be afraid to do or learn something new!

Being the subject of an interview multiple times for amazing lady bloggers & writers.

As someone who prides themselves in finding great subjects for feature interviews, I was incredibly flattered to be on the other side of the conversation this year, not once, but three times! Many thanks to Desire of Global Grind, Chelsea of ContemporaryTeal.com, and Stephanye of iSo14Below.com. Check out the features below.

Why Changing Your Career Isn’t The End Of The World on GlobalGrind.com

Feature Friday: Blogger, Journalist + Photographer // Andrea K. Castillo on ContemporaryTeal.com

Six Questions With Andrea K. Castillo on iSo14Below.com

Covering the Brooklyn Artist’s Ball After-Party at the Brooklyn Museum!

I had become familiar with the Brooklyn Artist’s Ball about a year ago; an evening commemorating contemporary artists for one fun-filled night at the Brooklyn Museum. A large part of it is the after-party, geared towards a younger crowd. i was SO SO happy to be asked to cover it this year, and bump into some familiar faces.

The after-party crowd

Portrait of Luke James

Finally launching a portfolio site for my photography & freelance writing.

In April of 2014, I launched Andreakcastillo.com, and independent site out of this blog that hosts my online portfolio of photography, freelance writing, and more! Thank you to all of my friends and supporters to coming out to the launch.

Shooting a fashion lookbook for LeSuite Boutique.

I’ve done a lot of photography in the realm of fashion and beauty, but it was in this year that I shot my first fashion lookbook, including the pieces sold on NYC fashion truck Le Suite Boutique. Thank you Iran and Mareana for the opportunity!

Being an on-set guest at HuffPost Live.

Probably one of the biggest on-screen moments of my life to date! I was invited to the HuffPost Live studio in the spring to be a guest on their Mid-Week Cocktail chatter segment. We chatted about hot topics over cocktails, how fitting! You may view the full segment here.

Creating my own rum punch recipe and selling it to the people!

In the spring I decided I wanted to make my own rum punch, because I didn’t like my options. I figured out my own recipe, bottled it, sponsored my own parties with it, and have sold to many happy customers! Follow the journey on social media @casrumbeverages.

Meeting, dancing, and snapping pics with Yukimi of Little Dragon.

I MEAN. Probably the most calm, geeked moment of my life. I had seen Little Dragon in June for the Friday show at Terminal 5, and was invited to their after-party/DJ set the day after at the McCarren Park Hotel & Pool. I brought my homegirl Indira with me, and I was super-focused on meeting Yukimi. Sometime after midnight, this photo happened, and after that, we were all dancing in a circle together. I can’t make this up.

Hosting a party across the border (Canada) with great friends.

Via this blog, I’ve introduced you guys to Girls With Gunz & Fire 4 Hire, my fave Canadian fashion girls and DJ click (respectively). In August during Caribana weekend, I co-hosted a party with the gang at The Crawford in Toronto which was a great success! Had my AKC logo on the flat screen and everything 🙂

Climbing to the top of Xunantunich Ruins in Belize.

Every year that I visit Belize, I make it a priority to climb a new set of Mayan ruins. Xunantunich has been on my list for sometime as it is one of the taller structures in the country. In late August, I finally completed this feat, and was so proud of myself. Such a spiritual experience.

Making Mama Cas’s yellow rice and passing the test!

2014 was definitely the year of keeping myself in the kitchen, and while in the kitchen, my goal was to start recreating the recipes of my mother. The first was her famous yellow rice that the family and countless friends line up for. I made it one day this fall and passed the test! I’ve since made it two more times and haven’t dropped the ball yet! LOL.

Writing about Belizean food & personal stories for LargeUp.com.

As I have been on the path of becoming a dual-citizen of Belize, this year has been filled with travel back to the homeland, uncovering stories, and recipes of course! I’m so happy to have finally linked up with Caribbean culture site Large Up to document said recipes. Check out my archive here.

Curating 7 hours of music for Sound.WAV at Aqua Art Miami that people enjoyed.

I work with a company called Audiophile PLUS that curates musical experiences for the art world. Last year, we held our premiere event, SoundVision Miami at the Aqua Art Miami show, and this year followed it up again at Aqua for Sound.WAV Miami. We programmed music & booked DJs for the entire course of the fair, with yours truly curating the tunes on the final day. You can check out the full playlist on Spotify. A great way to end out the year!

Stay safe and live out your dreams in 2015!

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself; Andrea, The Fashion Designer

In our everyday lives, we deal with many ups and downs; celebrations and mishaps, opening and closing doors, each moment adding to our own unique story. I cannot say that my experience is more difficult than that of anyone else, because the major things (food, shelter, clothing), I don’t need to worry about. However, when you suffer from being somewhat of a perfectionist (yes, I used “suffer” in this case) and have extremely high expectations of yourself, points that may be less exciting end up being the lowest of lows. This my friends, is not okay.

It’s been nearly a year since I have worked in a proper office setting, and for me, this has been somewhat of a gift and a curse. A gift because in this time I have been able to learn more about myself as a person, and what I believe my strengths and weaknesses to truly be, and a curse because I lack the structure of an office setting, and at times, have too much time with myself to think. As a writer, my thoughts are a commodity, my thoughts become THINGS. Whether it be a simple reflective post like you are currently reading, a location and full conversation set-up in advance for an interview, the idea for another blog or literary project, my thoughts translate quickly into something you can consume, if I of course, write them down. For whatever reason, in these past few weeks, I have had much difficulty in writing anything down. After the fatigue of fashion month, my mind and body became drained, and I really had to take a step back and evaluate my current situation. Covering fashion and music as a single writer on my own site becomes overwhelming as the cycle is so incredibly fast. I was trying and trying to put out content, but all I really wanted to do was sleep because I was so mentally and physically exhausted. I am happy that I did immerse myself in various types of fashion events this past month because it made me realize how much I care about it, and miss it, because I am indeed, a fashion designer.

I started this blog in 2011 because I have a unique perspective on the creative world, but my main reason in giving myself a voice online was to solidify a space for my fashion design. My secondary major in college was fashion, and since 2007 I have created capsule collections, more so for school fashion shows and other small shows in New York City. I abandoned much of this once I put the majority of my energy into this here blog, and I knew that if I wanted to be truly fulfilled, I had to do both. In these past few weeks, I have been sewing again, making skirts and dresses for myself with excess silk fabrics I have had from previous collections. This was quite new for me as I had formerly constructed garments solely for sample size models, and have ended up with a closet-full of garments that do not fit me. In my observations of apparel during fashion month I truly realized that my perspective in regards to women’s special occasion wear was quite special (not to be trite) and that I should put more of it out there. My mother has always been my right-hand in regards to fashion; teaching me how to sew, how things should fit, what fabrics should be used, and what is “appropriate”. Because of her wisdom, I inherently design dresses and skirts with a timeless appeal that is always appropriate in a fresh way.

With that being said, I wanted to show you a photo of my first completed skirt, of many more to come! This skirt was constructed out of two different silk ikat fabrics from Uzbekistan (note the opposing pattern in the waistband), lined in marigold silk. This was the last of this piece of fabric I had, purchased back in 2010, and is truly one of a kind. I will be making skirts like this in three different lengths; knee, mid-calf, and ankle, to satisfy all tastes. If you are interested in a skirt, feel free to send me a message on my contact page. So excited to take you on this journey with me. 🙂

*Photo by Diana K. Castillo

#NYFW Event: ETA Luxe + Purposerosa Jewelry Pop-Up Shop, Hosted by Andrea K. Castillo, Sat. 9/6

As #NYFW is in full swing in the streets of New York City, it is always a great time to discover designers on the rise. Emerging fashion brand ETA Luxe and jewelry line Purposerosa have teamed up to host a pop-up shop this weekend in Manhattan’s East Village. I will serve as hostess with the mostest/ server of rum punch, and Vibe Vixen will be the official media sponsor.

All details on the flyer. There is still time to RSVP: E.ETAluxe@gmail.com. Come out to support ladies on the rise for a fun afternoon of shopping, sips, and jams!