By Oscar Perez

Rebecca Garcia, a Newborn Photographer, took her passion for capturing everyday moments with her phone to a full blown photography career in a matter of 5 years! I met up with her during the month of May to talk about her journey through the photography world!

Oscar: Thank you Rebecca for meeting up with me! Let’s get started! How would you describe who you are?

Rebecca: Well, first and foremost I am a mom who decided to start documenting my kids’ life by taking photos of them since they were newborns. This is where the love for doing this professionally came from and it grew into my career. I am now a Professional Newborn Photographer.

How did you start this journey with photography?

I always knew I liked photography. Back in the day, I had my point and shoot camera everywhere I went! I have always loved taking photos I just didn’t know to what extend I could actually do photography until I became a mom.

Did you go to school to study photography?

I studied psychology and once I graduated I still felt lost, stuck in between “what do I do now?” and “Do I go for my masters?” It was during this time that I was was blessed with my first son, Nathan. When he was born I was taking photos of him all the time with my phone. Then it got to the point where I wanted professional photos and so I picked up the camera!

When was the first time you remember being creative?

When I was young I would draw all the time. I used to paint all the time! I had an easel! Hahaha! I always felt I needed a creative outlet and photography came in to do just that! I started creating headbands before photography to get this creativity out of me.

How did the headband business lead to photography?

I was creating these headbands that photographers from around the state wanted to buy for their photo sessions and I thought I can take up photography.  I had no money and I needed money to buy my first camera. I sold my motorcycle for $1,500 and bought supplies to make headbands. I didn’t know what I was doing, it was just happening! It was the money I made from this that was used to buy my first DSLR Camera. A Nikon 3200.

Awesome! What was the first thing you did when you got your camera?

I started photographing my kids and my headbands. I posted the pictures [online] and little by little people started asking me to take pictures of their kids. I had only carried two babies in my life and they were mine! Hahaha so I was like “no..no.. I can’t. I only photograph my kids.”

So how did you get going on that opportunity?

I had a friend who pushed me a lot and I’m grateful she did! I took pictures of her kid and that’s how it got started. Once I posted the first photo I kept on going! I don’t quit!

I love that you were jumping into these opportunities! Did you always have this entrepreneurial spirit?

Honestly, I don’t remember but I can tell you that when I was in a motorcycle club there was no nice tee shirts for girls. There were a few of us female riders and I wanted to make something nice for us. So I did. I made 50 shirts and sold them at $20 a piece within 2 weeks! That was the first time I did something that was entrepreneurial.

What was the first service you offered as a photographer?

My first services started with newborn photography. I’m not going to lie, I did try everything else to see what I liked.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing photography as a profession?

Gain your experience. Find out if you really like the type of photography you will be doing. Don’t do it for the money. Do it because you love doing it! Don’t give up! Keep going! You need to do you! Find your style! It’s the hardest thing but the most rewarding thing when you find yourself. Be genuine!

How do you realize you like a style? I’ve seen your work go from newborn photography to family portraits.

This past year I started with families! I always stayed away from photographing families because I didn’t want it to be boring for them. Like the typical “Smile. Look at the camera.” Lately, I tell my clients, “We are going to take traditional photos but also be prepared to play with your kids!” Those photos of them being genuine with their kids have been the best photos I have taken! It tells the story of who they really are! A loving family!

I can say you ‘photograph love’!

Yes! My latest photo shoots were the ones for Mother’s Day. I didn’t call them “Mommy and me” sessions rather I called them “Motherhood” session. This is because that’s the truth behind this role as a mother! Genuine smiles!

Let’s talk about obstacles. Do you remember the first obstacle you faced when becoming a photographer?

Yes, learning to work my camera and nobody wanting to help.  Also, being on the smallest budget ever!

How did you get past that obstacle?

I watched a million YouTube videos and read the manual! That’s how I learned to work my camera. I attended newborn photography trainings. The trainings are important to me because I want my clients to feel comfortable in me handling their babies.

Did you ever want to quit the first year?

Yes. Sometimes I got some babies that did not cooperate and I wondered if I was photographing the right way.

How did you keep going?

I kept going by getting through it. Now I just go with the flow. The “Baby calls the Shots!”. The shoot flows from there and it has worked out for me that way. I want the parents to be happy.

What’s the toughest thing about being a photographer?

Having patience for the creative process. You can’t force it. I cannot force myself to sit down and edit when I’m not feeling creative.

Do you have a routine for cultivating that feeling to create?

I do. At night. When it’s quiet. I get more done. I’m focused on the photo and feel the mood. It goes from there…

Do you work by yourself? Have you had assistants?

I had two assistants for a short period but I work better alone.

What’s your inspiration for the different photography sessions you have during the year?

I don’t like the sessions to look cheesy. I want them to look real. I find inspiration all around. I used to think “we need to plan and set up a photo” but you really don’t. You can let it flow.

I love that. Yeah, you have to let it flow! How do stay organized?

I keep a calendar. I carry it around with me all day! I have to have it on paper. Not digital!

Do you schedule time off? For yourself?

Yes, Mondays! I do need the time with my kids! I have the first two weeks off in June to kickoff summer!

Are you excited about something that’s coming up here in the near future?

Yes! These past two weeks I made the jump from working in my home studio to getting a new studio. It’s time. It’s time to grow.

How do you know it’s time to grow?

I feel it. I need something challenging.

What’s the vision behind getting a bigger studio?

I want to teach photography but it’s not for aspiring professional photographers. I want to start by teaching moms! There are tons of moms like myself who have bought cameras but don’t know how to use them. I want to start there so they can learn and take nice pictures of their kids. You know, photographing everyday life.

When do you move in?

We are trying to get this going by next week [May 20th]

Who is we?

My sons and I. They are such a big part of this journey that I asked them about moving to a new studio. We made this decision as a family!

That’s beautiful! I can’t wait to visit the studio! Where can the readers find your work?

They can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Website and now at the new studio. My phone is on my pages! Anybody can contact me! I’m accessible.

Instagram: @RebeccaMasonPhotography

Website: www.RebeccaMasonPhotography

Great! Rebecca thank you for sharing your story with me today, I know you will inspire people to chase their dreams! You have taken risks and you have made your vision a reality! I look forward to seeing all your future work!

by Fernanda Alvarado

To the strong willed individuals who stuck to their resolutions we say, “Congratulations! You can enjoy this season without guilt!” To the ones that love food a bit more than most we say, “Don’t worry! There is a swimsuit for every style, shape, or form!”

The summer 2018 swimwear trends cover every possible aspect and personality that could want to make a splash at the pool or at the beach. Thank goodness! The options for this season’s swimwear trends include one and two pieces with imaginative styling. The rise of the one piece is in full force as well, and each of the designs is stunning with options to flatter everyone. From sunbathers to surfers and models to the more modest, the summer 2018 swimwear trends strategically cover it all.

 

 

Swimsuits with Tassels
Tassels are cuter than ever. You’ll stand out from the crowd with a bathing suit decorated with yarn tassels. They became more chic and feminine. Some bathing suits can even be accentuated with accessories and jewelry.

One-Piece Swimsuits
You can never go wrong with a classing one-piece bathing suit. However, this season spruce things up a bit. Add a touch of oomph to your suit and think plunging necklines, which are one of the best summer 2018 swimwear trends to go for!

Prints
Clever, funny and sarcastic prints are showing up on cover-ups, two pieces, and one pieces. A play on words here and there has shown that it is not just for a cute T-shirt. Off Duty Mermaid, and Bae Watch are popular options.up for a quick bite are out and about as well.

High-Waisted Two Pieces
The high waist trend has been building steam and gaining ground more reliably for the past few years than any other. Maybe it’s the flattering way our hips flair or our tummies are tucked but this trend is cute on anyone.

So, pack up your swimsuit, put on those sunglasses, and drive towards the sunset. This summer is sure to be one filled with memories and laughter and with our tips you’ll be a statement all on your own! Happy swimming, readers!

By Yeradi Armenta

Dr. Seuss once said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”. Even as a little girl, I’ve always been one to stay true to my image. From my own closet, I would create different outfits. I’d get a shirt of one style, a short or skirt with a different print, then maybe I’d add a cape and totally random shoes and I’d leave the house ready to take on the day. I was the type of kid who would color my shiny dress shoes with black sharpie. I’d put new designs on my shoes and I’d wear them every time I went out. My mother would sometimes have a different opinion about my outfits but would always end up supporting her little fashionista. I have always liked dressing and being different, and yes, it was a little because I wanted to be the center of attention.

I believe that style comes from comfort. You can choose to be who you are and you can choose how to present yourself to the world through your fashion style. It is important to know that comfort plays a huge role in how you dress. When you’re not comfortable, you are not at your best.

Don’t be scared to show you have personal style. You can be THAT girl! Life is a runway, dress like it!”

The term It is defined as “denoting a person or thing that is exceptionally fashionable, popular, or successful at a particular time.” That is exactly what I had in mind when I created my online shop, The It Shop. 

I try to dress in clothes that people can get from The It Shop. After all, that is how I started. Friends and family would always ask me where I got the different items, whether they be clothes, shoes, accessories, or purses. The question became so common that my husband suggested I begin my own online store.

It should be mentioned that I began my shop with personalized genuine leather goods. One day, I was minding my own business, when someone noticed my purse. They completely fell in love with it and they’d tell me they wanted one but that they couldn’t go to Mexico to get one. When I least expected, I had about ten people asking me to go get them purses like mine.

So I spoke with three different brands in Mexico and I became a distributor of genuine leather goods.

The It Shop is what I love to do. Because through it, I’ve been able to meet so many different people and I’ve been able to experience a Fashion Week in Mexico City. The It Shop was selected with a small group of online fashion retailers that have been actively promoted through notorious fashion influencers in Monterrey and Mexico City.

During Fashion Week it was so exciting and amazing to see the influencers I work with wearing clothing and accessories from The It Shop. It was also a pleasure seeing people in the shows react to these outfits positively and they were even curious about where they came from! I even got a chance to be interviewed because of the way I dressed for the shows! Fashion Week is a fabulous experience, but let me tell you that it’s quite tiring, too. For example, for every runway show you have to form a line to get into the show itself, once the runway walk ends, you have to get back in line to go to the next runway walk and so on and so forth all day long. But I was happy and excited. I loved this experience and even had the opportunity to sit in on the most colorful and trendy runways.

My passion for fashion led me to witness Benito Santos’ runway show. He’s a really well-known designer in Mexico and I knew I had to be a part of his show. After all, his fashion pieces have ended up even on the Miss Universe stage in 2010 with the show’s winner, Ximena Navarrete. This was an out of this world experience!

I knew this Fashion Week would give me a fresh perspective on fashion and a cool twist to The It Shop. All of these experiences led me to a greater love for all things that make fashion unique.

I went from selling only personalized leather goods to clothing from boutiques based out of Los Angeles and New York. Everything that comes my way, that I think is trending, I try to sell it. I have had my Instagram store for about two years now and I have over six thousand followers. I look forward to learning more and sharing with you guys. After all, you are part of my inspiration!

Tips on eating and making the best snacks

By Fernanda Alvardo

 

All anyone wants on a hot summer day is something to cool off with. Whether it is chasing down the paletero or making some lemonade, we can all benefit from something cool and refreshing. Cooking and creating go hand in hand. It helps to boost our energy, eases our minds, and gives us a reward after all the planning, prepping, and hard work that is put into the kitchen.

Adults and children alike can benefit from spending time in the kitchen. Children are in it for the sweets. Whether it be an ice pop or an ice cold glass of an agua fresca, there are lots of terrific reasons for kids to spend time in the kitchen, besides the fact that it can be so much fun and rewarding.

Here at DeLaredo, we want to offer you, our readers, different ideas so that your summer can be filled with fun under the sun!

Whether you’re looking for an easy meal that kids can help you make, a fun project to keep them busy on those summer afternoons when they’re bored, or even an “edible art” activity that doubles as a snack before dinner. Let their creativity shine and get in on the fun!

How about trying a fresh veggies and fruits variation of Ants on a Log?

Summer is the season for fresh fruits and vegetables to abound in gardens everywhere. Remember Ants on a Log…one of those absolutely classic recipes for kids? There are different variations of this recipe you can do to take it to a whole new level of creativity and fun! Lay out a spread of veggie sticks and sliced fresh fruits and an array of cream cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, or greek yogurt, The sky’s the limit with how many combinations you can come up with. Let your kids’ imaginations go wild! Add some nuts, seeds, and dried up cranberries to change the game up a bit. Your kids won’t regret it, and you won’t either!

Celebrating a summer birthday? Having a cookout? Try making fruit kabobs for fun, fresh snacks! Fruit kabobs are your ticket to becoming the hostess with the mostest. Apart from being the easiest possible dishes, fruit kabobs are like fruit salads on a stick! All you need are some cookie cutters in fun shapes like stars and flowers, a small vase or an apple to serve as a base, and a few of those bamboo kabob skewers you can purchase for just a buck or two at pretty much any supermarket. And of course! We cannot forget the fruit! You can buy watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries; really, whatever looks good at the market. Then just stack them and you’re good to go. Easy as pie!

S’mores are a classic campfire treat that has been modified and remodeled time and time again.

There is almost no person on earth that hasn’t tried a s’more. This classic campfire treat has been modified and remodeled time and time again. Summer is hot and sometimes camping is not convenient so we bring you Chocolate Hazelnut S’mores. All you need are graham crackers, chocolate hazelnut spread, and marshmallow cream. In the words of Ham from The Sandlot, “First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow. When the mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate. Then you cover it with the other end. Then, you stuff.”

Treat yourself and your kids to these delicious snacks. Spend time in the kitchen and get creative with your ingredients. Use your local farmer’s market or community garden to gather up fresh ingredients. You won’t regret trying out these treats, trust us!

Traveling Texas and loving every minute of it!

By Fernanda Alvarado

John Mayer said it best, “A little bit of summer’s what the whole year is all about!” We start off the year ready to take life by the horns. We go full speed in trying to make our resolutions happen and becoming better versions of ourselves. By the time we know it, we are exhausting every drop of energy we may have left. Thank goodness for summer!

These two to three months are a Godsend for both children and adults. Students get to take a break from school and all those state-mandated tests. College students can breathe and maybe work a little to make some extra money for those summer concerts. And adults can breathe easy knowing that vacation time is not far off.

Laredo is a good city to spend vacation time on, but thankfully we live in the great state of Texas. Where you can find anything and everything under the sun! We want you to enjoy a great Texas vacation without spending an arm and a leg! These options are not only budget-friendly, they offer a chance to enjoy a whole bunch of fun under the sun in the great Lone Star State.

Let’s start off with the weirdest city of them all, Austin. Our state capitol, or as it is also known “Live Music Capital of the World!” Austin is chock full of outdoor adventures. If you’re the hiking type, take your family on a walk around Lady Bird Lake and the lush Fiesta Gardens or enjoy swimming at Barton Springs Pool. But if you like things a little more cultured, you can view gems and fossils at the Texas Memorial Museum. You can even take your family on a tour of the grand state capitol building for free. Lastly, you cannot miss witnessing the largest urban bat colony in the U.S. take flight from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

San Antonio’s most famous site, The Alamo.

Second on our list is San Antonio. We couldn’t miss this classic destination for quick getaways. San Antonio is filled with family-friendly spots where most are cheap or free and most importantly, fun. In fact, there’s no charge at all to visit the city’s most famous site, The Alamo, where you’ll get a fascinating glimpse at the place where in 1836 an epic 13-day siege occurred during the Texas Revolution. Then just a short hop and skip away is the iconic Riverwalk. You can take a narrated boat cruise for only $10 a person (with significant discounts for children and seniors), where you’ll glide underneath arched bridges that might make you think you’re in Venice, Italy. In fact, you can even visit the spot where Jennifer Lopez filmed a scene for the movie Selena.  Be sure to check out Market Square or El Mercado as it’s also known – the Mexican market hosts vendors that sell handcrafted items, fresh produce

and

other goods at minimal prices, and also features a 24-hour Mexican bakery. While taking in the 360-degree view of the city from the Tower of the Americas is a must, avoid paying the steep charge to visit the observation by heading to the bar just one level below. You’ll get the same views, for just the price of a drink or an appetizer. #SummerHacks

If you’re looking for a beach vibe this summer, there are two options Texas has available to you. The first is south of Laredo and was named one of America’s best beaches for families by the Travel Channel. South Padre Island is infamous for Spring Break but what many don’t know is that this small resort town offers a whole lot more than spring breakers. South Padre Island is perfect for a cheap vacation packed with what’s sure to be unforgettable memories. Travelers on a tight budget will appreciate the nearly endless options for inexpensive accommodations, from campgrounds with RV hookups to family motels, many of which can be found right along the shore. Beach equals sunshine and tanning, but in addition to that, time can be spent collecting brightly colored shells or you can take a walk along the Laguna Madre Nature Trail to catch a glimpse of exotic birds and even alligators.

From Brownsville to Houston to El Paso to Dallas, Texas is as diverse as they come. Enjoy a summer full of fun and inexpensive adventures. Take the time to explore everything the Lone Star State has to offer!”

About six hours north of Laredo, Galveston beach is the gift that keeps on giving. Galveston is home to multiple museums, and many have a very low admission price, like the Texas Seaport Museum, the Galveston Railroad Museum, Tall Ship Elissa, and Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast and the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum. The island is best known for its 32-mile sandy beach, Seawall Beach, that includes the longest continuous sidewalk in the nation, which means there is lots of room for free beach fun. Stroll along the seawall or enjoy a game of beach volleyball. Play in the sand and surf, or build sandcastles. Galveston Island offers a whole bunch of inexpensive fun and cheap dining and accommodations.

Galveston is known for its 32-mile sandy beach, Seawall Beach.

Texas is a treasure that not many consider when thinking of vacationing. There are multiple parks, hiking trails, lakes, and the best part of Texas is its diverse landscape. There will always be something for someone. It is a great family state with the best border town in the nation, Laredo. We spoke about four options for vacations, but this summer, consider spending family time all over the state and experience everything Texas has to offer. Because after all, “the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas!”

Because Mom deserves the Best

by Oscar Castillo

 

Mother’s Day is all about treating that special lady in your life to a good time. It’s nice to just kick back and go out for some good food while reminiscing about life and just enjoying each other’s company. A great way to bond over yummy food is to go out for brunch. Brunch is that early afternoon treat that usually involves taking care of your sweet tooth. We’re all about our food, so we thought we’d mention a couple great options for your brunch with mom.

To start off, Delicias De La Tierra offers a grand variety as well as many healthy options. From eggs in a variety of formats to wraps, salads, sandwiches, and soups, Delicias has something for everyone. Every item on the menu can be as healthy as you want with their many choices for a personalized meal. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with a healthy juice. Delicias also features pancakes and waffles as well as oatmeal and fruit salads for a sweeter palate. If we’re talking about pancakes however, one can never go wrong with IHOP. The International House of Pancakes is a safe bet when you’re craving that sweet treat. With endless cups of coffee, it’s a great place to relax and spend the afternoon.

For something a bit heartier, Paulita’s is a Laredo classic. Paulita’s restaurant has made a name for itself thanks to it delicious and enormous breakfast tacos. From bacon and egg to beans and cheese, each taco is deliciously crafted around their delicious handmade flour tortillas which just hit the spot. Another great option is La Finca, Bruncheria and Café. They have authentic Mexican favorites such as chilaquiles, and other delicious morsels as their French toast with fresh fruit, omelets, and toasted biscuits. Of course, no good brunch is complete without a good mimosa or piña colada, so keep your spirits up this mother’s day and let mom know exactly how much you love her by treating her to a nice meal.

 

Delicias De La Tierra offers a grand variety as well as many healthy options. From eggs in a variety of formats to wraps, salads, sandwiches, and soups, Delicias has something for everyone.

Skintology Spa

 

Aesthetics is the lifestyle of beauty, art, and health. Skintology is Laredo’s oasis for aesthetics. Since 2013, the sister duo of Cristell Laurel and Andria Laurel Botello have been working non-stop to offer their clients the latest, advanced spa treatments available. Their belief is that healing begins in the inner body and transmits outward.  Their specially-designed clinically-proven treatments are aimed to provide optimal health and well-being.

Cristell says that Skintology Spa has taken her and Andria to new heights in the spa industry. Andria loves all facets of body and health and is expanding new services in the already fabulous pilates schedule. Cristell loves all things related to helping someone achieve a feeling of inner beauty. It is a beautiful connection that they share with multiple interests all under one roof. The goal they share is the same: they want to be the best at what they do and aim to make your experience mystical because you deserve it.

Let Skintology Spa heal your body, mind and soul.Let the relaxing setting rejuvenate your day and allow their professional staff to make this possible with one of many special services.

Skintology Spaoffers an array of services that include:

A fabulous selection of Massagesare available. From volcanic to the Australian Vichi exfoliating water therapy massage.

Facials:Our skinsters delight in RESURFX, IPL, chemical peels, laser facials to name a few bring out the true beauty and glow in your face.

Laser hair removalusing the latest technology that reduces the the growth of hair with less treatments. It is painless, more effective, and results are more immediate when compared with other laser machines on the market.

Weight loss treatmentsthat include treatments for stubborn cellulite, wrinkles, and skin tightening techniques. For fat loss, Skintology also offers the Cryo Sculpt technique using clay, The Ideal Protein Program is also available and is a sure way to knock off a minimum of 3 to 5 pounds weekly.

Full salonfeaturing hair color, cut, style, waxing brow tints and lash lifts. Custom manicures and pedicures using hot stone and Skintology’s own custom blends.

Fully equipped Pilates gymthat features the Cadillac, the ultimate in reformer beds, the barrel, and the chair. This is Andria’s passion and specialty. If you haven’t tried a class, you don’t know what you have been missing!

A retail centerthat features the best skin and hair products. The center also has luscious candles, aromatherapy products, fitness and sleep wear. Skintology has just what you are looking for to make that special someone feel extraordinary.

Be it a birthday, bridal shower, spa girl party, anniversary, Mother’s or Father’s Day, or a graduation Skintology’s got you covered!

Let Skintology Spahelp you recharge for a better tomorrow. Visit them at 3402 East Delmar Blvd, Suite 200 or call 956-727-0950.

Beyond the River Walk

by Oscar Castillo

Our grand Gateway City is oftentimes compared to our neighboring cities, especially in the summer when school is out and vacations are nigh. A popular outing destination for Laredoans seeking something a bit out of the routine is the ever-busy San Antonio. Here, we’ll cover some fun options for anyone heading over this summer.

The most obvious hotspot for San Antonio is its legendary and renowned River Walk. The walk consists of a historical and scenic tour of the heart of the city along a beautiful urban waterway. Walk along while visiting the popular shops and restaurants surrounding the area, or hop aboard a water taxi and have a relaxing time as you float along the horizon.

What truly makes San Antonio shine is the variety of attractions it houses within the city such as its popular amusement and water parks like Six Flags and Splashtown, or its natural tourist destinations such as the Natural Bridge Caverns, an underground system of explorable caves, or its botanical gardens, great options for a date. For animal lovers, Sea World offers a great way to experience marine life, and the many museums and arts centers offer a more eclectic view of the world.

Of course, one of the hottest parts of San Antonio is its bustling nightlife. Whether downtown or along the River Walk, there are dozens upon dozens of choice eateries, clubs, and bars from which to choose from. Forget you live in a small town for a night and dance the night away surrounded by lively strangers all there for one thing: to party. San Antonio is just a blast to explore. Find its many hidden gems next time you’re in the neighborhood.

 

 

The city houses popular amusement and water parks like Six Flags and Splashtown, and  natural tourist destinations such as the Natural Bridge Caverns.