#LaInstaVida: Frida, Aztecs, Malibu y la Abuelita

#LaInstaVida-March-17-2014 -- MadreVida.com

Me doy vergüenza a mi misma! I was supposed to be taking better care of this dear blog here — at least those were my deepest intentions. I won’t slap my own hand or give you a post full of regrets of what I wanted to do but haven’t done because it’s so not my style anymore. But what is my style is to keep charging ahead, like a good Taurus, hard-headed determined bull, and not look back, porque para atrás ni para coger impulso!

Welcome to this new weekly attempt called “La Insta Vida” where I want to share here the Instagram pics  I posted the week before. Yes, you can easily just see them on my Instagram y ya, but I feel like indulging in looking back and telling a deeper story into why that particular picture made it into Insta-posterity.  It’s totally self-indulgent, but if you’re ever curious, then here’s a deeper peek into those parts that make me happy enough to share. Total disclaimer that these are 100% the happy moments, or those that looked lovely, but this is not how life looks holistically — that would be way too boring. Life has to have dull, not-so-pretty, kinda shameful moments that add duality to it, but they just don’t look so wonderful in pics. You get me.

My weekdays are usually not this exciting. Trust me. It’s a lot of conference calls and staring at my computer monitor that don’t make for a lot of share-worthy moments. But this week Camila was on Spring break and my mom flew in from El Salvador to visit. Since I knew I wasn’t going to be able to work full days as I usually do, I scheduled a photo shoot I needed to get done for new head shots and for pics I need for a project I’ll soon be telling you more about.

My dear friends came to the rescue to produce and take the shots from the photo shoot above. From left to right: The super-talented and sweetest Robson Muzel; the most-beautiful-inside-out-girl-I-know Maria Troconis of Grafikisto, plus the coolest, I-live-vicariously-through-her Andrea Franco Batievsky of Nuhr Studio. Collaboration is key — work with those you love and respect, but each with their space and bringing forth what they are best at.

I can’t believe I had never been to the Getty Villa before! Since my mom was visiting, her and I escaped to Pacific Palisades to check out this beautiful villa, a recreation of an ancient Roman country house, and marvel at the Greek and Roman antiquity collection J. Paul Getty put on exhibit here. It’s free to go and to take the garden and architecture tours, but you do have to make a reservation. It gets really crowded on the weekends, but it was so nice and quiet on Friday and the day was just SoCal perfection!

Mi mami! Camila actually asked her today what cream she wears to look so young and pretty because she just doesn’t think she looks like an Abuelita. Of course, eso le encantó a la Abuelita!

Echo Park is not just hipsters, for real. This central area of Los Angeles is actually the neighborhood where Camila was born. We lived right on the boarder of Silverlake and Echo Park when we first moved to L.A. and we definitely miss the neighborhood for it’s neighborhood-y vibe. Echo Park Lake recently got a full makeover and got restored to the beautiful oasis it is amidst the bustling city. Just take in that sunset.

Another place I can’t believe we hadn’t been to yet is the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon. It’s a beautiful restaurant with mostly outdoors seating next to a creek. I can imagine that at night it’s incredibly romantic since there’s string lights hanging all over. During the day, it’s a great family brunch spot, especially since the kids can head down to play by the creek. Camila was making a dirt home for a roly poly she found and for the fairy friends.

One of my all-time favorite things to do in SoCal is to drive the stretch of the PCH between Santa Monica and Malibu with the windows down to hear the ocean and feel the salt air. This shot I got from the car. Can you believe? The picture is definitely edited and I love how it turned out.

I was invited to the media preview of the Frida Kahlo, Her Photos exhibit at the MOLAA the week before but I couldn’t make it and was so bummed. Camila is also a fan of Frida Kahlo and even visited Casa Azul in Coyoacán last year during a trip to México with her dad. This exhibit is of photos from Frida’s personal archive that has been kept in Casa Azul for decades. The photos tell the story of her family, her friends, her travels, her idealism and her country, México. I loved this Frida Kahlo quote that’s the most prominent one as you walk into the exhibit: “I knew the battlefield of suffering was reflected in my eyes. From the on I started looking directly into the lens, without blinking, without smiling, determined to show that I would be a good fighter until the end.”

I headed to East L.A. for breakfast with my good friends and ex-editors at Babble, Dara and Andrea, and Nicole of Presley’s Pantry. Nicole loves La Serenata de Garibaldi, so we met there, right in front of the Mariachi Plaza. After breakfast I headed out and heard the beating of the drums, the wind blown out of a caracol and the rattling from the Danzantes’ feet. The smell of copal and the sight of penachos adorning heads transported me back to el Zócalo in México City where I had my first encounter with the magical danzantes. I paused for 15 minutes and just took it in alone. I needed that moment.

Experience it for yourself, minus the smell of the copal.

How was your #LaInstaVida week? Share with me here links to your favorite Instagram moments or tag them with #InstaVida and I’ll give them mucho amor!


  1. says

    I love the insta vida! And I have the Instagram Amor :) They just need to be shared in the blog too! I started saying I would do it a lot on the blog and then said every month and now it just depends of how I feel and how many instagrams I have, it has been a while since I don’t do too many so it’s not worth it… Anyways! I wanted to tell you I went once to that restaurant in Topanga while dating Derek, super romantic, beautiful but didn’t like the food at all! LOL! It turned the whole romantic thing down, too bad, I think maybe now I would like it better and also know what to order ;)

    Que chévere que tu mami estuvo de visita, your week was awesome amiga!!!
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    • Ana says

      Ay, me encanta! Es un hashtag el #InstagramAmor? lo voy a usar!!
      We’re full of good intentions, aren’t we? I really do hope I keep it up, but I know my weeks aren’t always this insta-good :)

      And the Inn…yep, I agree with you. It’s an ideal romantic and family spot, but the food is not up to quality at all. Qué lástima!

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