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

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.

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Moeima, 2012. Photo by me.

Picture in picture, 2015. Photo by Kermit Mercado.

Video: Warby Parker + AKC #FallSyllabus Shoot, Captured by Kermit Mercado

So if you have been keeping up, just recently I shared my Warby Parker #FallSyllabus shoot. You may have thought that was the last of it, but no, we have a special treat! My partner in creativity Kermit (who is an incredible videographer alongside being an awesome photographer) suggested we do a bit of a behind-the-scenes video with his top notch equipment. I was down for the cause, of course, and you can see the magic above once you press play!

Many thanks again to the team at Warby Parker for inviting me to be involved in this blogger campaign, Mika for making my hair and makeup look on-point, and to Kermit for capturing it all. Watch and share. 🙂

Lookbook: Warby Parker #FallSyllabus Lifestyle Shoot, Captured by Kermit Mercado

When you think of “fall”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the changing color of leaves? Pumpkins and apples? For me, fall will always encompass the notion of back-to-school and new beginnings. Whether it be starting a new course or job, fall to me will always signify positive change. Breaking out cool sweaters and specs is an added plus!

I was super excited to receive a message recently from the team at Warby Parker stating that they wanted this girl from Brooklyn to create a fall-themed lifestyle shoot with their eyewear. They handpicked a number of bloggers to capture what #FallSyllabus means to them. As I am forever a nerd in search of knowledge, I created a mood that is reminiscent of college, and the interpretation of my favorite people on campus.

Scroll on to see what I created with fresh Warby Parker frames, and copious amounts of layered knits!

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The Librarian

When we think of a librarian, it usually skews one of two places; sexy librarian or mean librarian. I wanted to capture a somewhat hip librarian. She is draped in smart designer threads with a pen in hand, reading a book on Brooklyn maker culture. She is a great resource, and definitely knows what’s up.

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Winston Eyeglasses | Ralph Lauren Dress | Ralph Lauren Shawl Collar Sweater

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The Off-Duty Athlete

As a former student athlete, track & field to be specific, I can never resist the ultimate coziness of a good sweatshirt. Here we see the off-duty athlete. She layers her sweatshirt under her varsity jacket and pairs with a pair of jeans and Chucks because she is all about easy dressing.

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Keene Eyeglasses | Vintage Polo Ralph Lauren Sweatshirt & Jacket | Stylemint Jeans | Converse Chuck Taylors

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The Photographer

Here to capture moments is the photographer. In school, photography was really recreational for me, capturing photos of friends at parties, as well as nature around me, I have since transitioned to that of a professional. Here, our photographer dresses really smart, a bit high brow if you will with her suede pants and vintage pieces, but her eye is always in search of her next subject.

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Caspar Eyeglasses | Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt | Vintage Polo Ralph Lauren Teddy Bear Sweater | Vintage Camera Case | Ralph Lauren Suede Trousers | Converse Chuck Taylors

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The Professor

At some point in your life, you’ve had a crush on a teacher or professor, right? Don’t lie! I wanted to capture the “highly favored” professor if you will. Maybe she is a bit daring, exposing leg in the cooler weather, but you must applaud the effort she puts into dressing. The eyeglass and briefcase is just so smart, don’t you think?

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Percey Eyeglasses | Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt | Polo Ralph Lauren Mock Collar Teddy Bear Sweater | +J Uniqlo Wool Skirt | Cole Haan Heeled Oxfords

I really want to thank the folks at Warby Parker for inviting me to partake in this opportunity. Many thanks to my awesome team of Kermit, Mika, and big bro Q for the vintage pieces.Do these looks remind you of fall? Would you rock the specs?

Photography: Kermit Mercado
Hair & Make-up: Mika
Styling: Andrea K. Castillo
Wardrobe: Personal collection of Andrea K. Castillo & Q

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

Product Review: WeSC Piston Bluetooth On Ear Headphones

Rocking the Piston Bluetooth Headphones
Rocking the Piston Bluetooth Headphones

Audiophiles, I have a treat for you in the form of another headphone review! This time, I review the WeSC Piston Bluetooth Headphones. Swedish brand WeSC has been known as a lifestyle brand for some time now, offering an array of tech products alongside their extensive apparel line. The Piston Bluetooth headphones are the latest installment of their personal audio line, and they are just on time, and perfectly on brand.

I received the black pair in the photo above from the good folks at Exposure to review, and I was quite impressed with the results. The Piston Bluetooth set has the same exact look and feel of the WeSC Piston line, sans the fuss of wires. The styling is minimal, and best of all, the sound quality is ENORMOUS. I was completely blown away by the balance of bass and treble levels, whilst maintaining a noise canceling element, so you don’t bother your neighbors.

You can check out my full product review video in my FIRST YouTube video below. I would love to know your thoughts, and if you dig it, please subscribe! There will be more tech and beauty review videos in the near future.

Check out a close-up of the set below. Many thanks to my buddy Kermit for the photos!

Close-up of the headphones
Close-up of the headphones

*Photos by Kermit Mercado