Drowned in Moonlight: A Farewell to Carrie & Debbie

Like a tragic film, after Carrie Fisher passed away due to a cardiac arrest; the legendary actress, Debbie Reynolds has also passed away.

Mother and daughter graced the silver screen and shined in their own way. Debbie Reynolds known for her films such as Singin’ in the Rain. Reynolds acted for more than six decades. Most recent roles were television works in Will&Grace and Behind The Candelabra. 

Her daughter, Carrie Fisher also had a successful film and television career. Fisher best known as the iconic, Princess Leia. She continued working, producing and writing books. Wishful Thinking released in 2008, Fisher tells her autobiography in a humorous matter. Immediately after her passing, this notorious line became viral,

Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.

Both mother and daughter had their lives under the lense of the press. Debbie rose to fame at the age of 19 and married, Eddie Fisher. The beloved actress known for sweet roles divorced after her second son was born. The cause of her divorce became a press roller coaster. Shockingly the cause of her divorce was Fisher’s liaison with Elizabeth Taylor.

However, Reynolds moved on. She married two more times and had an envious career. Debbie has also worked on stage and released albums back in the early 50s. Nominated for numerous awards, Reynolds last award was the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy Awards and Science. This award is given to an individual’s achievement in humanitarian work. 

As for Carrie Fisher, she also had a marriage which her divorce became a press circus. Saddly, Fisher also struggled with health disorders and addiction. However, Carrie freed from her past demons, like her mother worked continuously. During this year, she also won a humanitarian award from Harvard College. Fisher’s most recent works was the continuation of the new Star Wars saga and a documentary which she collaborated with her mother.

Their final works will be released next year. The duo collaborated in a documentary called, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. It will air this March on HBO. Fisher’s final film is Star Wars: Episode VIII. 

After the devasting 48 hours,  many reports indicated that Billie Lourd (Carrie’s daughter & Debbie’s granddaughter) will take care of her mother’s beloved dog, Gary.

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George Michael 

Honestly, I’m still mentally recovering from Prince’s and Juan Gabriel’s death and now George Michael left his legacy of beautiful music.Although the autopsy is in progress, his manager said that the British singer died in his sleep. Before his tragic departure, Michael had a long musical career, but also a controversial life.

George Michael was born in England as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. Later on professionally known as George Michael. During the early 80s, he was part of a pop duo known as Wham! The British duo became an international success. 

At one point, George had solo hits such as Careless Whisper and Last Christmas during his time in Wham! In fact some countries Careless Whisper is credited to the duo, while other countries credits George Michael as a featured singer. Even though he successfully transitioned to become a solo artist – the pop singer dealt with personal demons and dismal events that marked the singer.

In his early teens, Micheal declared to his closest friends that he was bisexual; however, during his time in Wham! the singer had countless relationships with women. Yet, his female relationships were never serious until he met the Brazilian designer: Anselmo Feleppa.

The six month relationship, Micheal realized he had fallen in love. Sadly, this happiness didn’t last for long. His partner had AIDS and he passed away in 1993.

The pop star continued working on his music which his resume also included a memomir and he dedicated his work to support AIDS research. Although the talented musician had great triumphs with his groundbreaking music, the singer also faced long battles with drug addiction and record label disputes.

After years of legal battles and seclusion, he fell in love again and created more memorable songs. George Michael should be rembered for his originality, boldness and also his kindness. It is with great sadness that now that the song Last Christmas plays in the radio, it is unreal that this was also his last one.

Lastly, on a personal note, I heard George Michael’s music because of my mother. Her favorite song is Careless Whisper and my favorite song is Amazing. Certainly, it is not Christmas without Last Christmas.

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The Wolf of a College Degree

As the year wraps up, there has been many changes in terms of educational politics and the awareness of obtaining a college degree that can became a lifelong nightmare for many.

A recent example is ITT closing its doors this year; however, ITT story is not a unique one. Many students have witnessed the rise of fraudulent online universities. Also, there is another rise of Diploma Mills.

Like false religion institutions, online schools is also a hot money maker. Yet, it is important to notice the major differences between For-Profit universities and community colleges or non-profit universities is accreditation.

For-Profit universities or colleges are owned and operated by private corporations or primarily private owners. Of course, there are universities that are Private, but they are accredited. A way a student can investigate before applying to any school is visiting  https://www.hlcommission.org/component/directory/

The link is from the Higher Learning Commission website. The link gives the option to type in a school’s name or by state and you can find out if the school is legally operating. Another accreditation commission agency is WASC.

Signs that a school is investing in getting your money and not your education is their predatory practices in recruitment. Another sign is the one mentioned previously, accreditation. Also, if a school operates more like a call center and their address is not an actual building – beware! Specially, online schools are known to have odd addresses and providing incredible success stories.

ITT had several advertisements featuring amazing successful stories. However, one day I recorded the commercial and read closely the small print that appeared in their advertisement. In comparison to other universities campaigns, I don’t recall a suspicious small print in the bottom of my screen.

Basically, the summary of the small print told a different story that was advertised. While the commercial, the alumni mentioned that ITT helped him find a job. The small print described the obvious reality that it is based on the person’s performance in order to retain their job or obtaining a job. Lastly, in a different online ad there is a disclosure note about Financial AID and the closing statement should have been in bolder letters: Credits are unlikely to transfer.

The Department of Education should also learn the lesson from Corinthians colleges and ITT. The problem is that online education, schools lacking accreditation, and diploma mills is that they are not regulated.

Nowadays, there are millions of online schools that operate and successfully obtain millions of dollars from aspiring students; however, the student ends up without a degree and a lifelong debt.

Besides the shut-down of ITT and Corinthians colleges, Donald Trump also owned a fraudulent institution called: Trump University. Like most frauds, it sold the dream of stability, success, and wealth. Tuition rate for Trump’s school was estimated $35,000. Not only this university was a scam. The whole institution was a warning sign. Their core courses were based on events and packages as part of their curriculum. Their instructors were not professionals. Many of them went from sales to instructors and they were hand picked by Trump.

One of them had an interview for CNN, James Harris a former instructor was the number one recruiter. As he pointed out during the interview, “he was just doing his job.” The problem with this philosophy was the predatory pattern of selling the fantasy of Trump’s success. Another odd perspective of the interview was the failure to answer basic questions of his life. Harris’ couldn’t respond to what he had claimed he has done in his life. How can someone not be prepared to answer a question about his previous job experience? The reality is clear Trump University is another example of a switch-and-bait.

As mentioned earlier, the rise of the diploma mill is another competitor for students that legally obtained a degree. By conducting a google search, there are millions of websites that will create a diploma to an actual school transcript. According to CNN Money, Diploma Mills companies gain $200 million a year and they are not prosecuted. It is a legal business and as an alumni I can say that I many not be exercising my degree, but I know that I obtained that diploma after many nights of not sleeping and plenty of dedication. It is an insult that it is a legal business.

This marks the question if higher education is worth it? What happens to those that paid for their diploma and obtained a job without a single test? It is beyond unfair.

In conclusion, beware of schools that will do anything to get your money.

Signs of a possible scam are…

Their accreditation are having the words such as licensed or approved.

Their offices are more like a call center.

The address of their offices are not an actual office or a building.

Their recruitment is aggressive and will promise the impossible.

Do your research. Visit the Higher learning commission website or the site the school is affiliated.

If the school does their best to convince the student to use their credit cards or insist on a private bank loan.

If their curriculum are brief or just seminars.

Even if the school is accredited, make sure your credits are transferable. What’s the point of investing your time and money on a school that your credits or possibly your diploma wouldn’t count?

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Why Voting Matters

I’ll keep this post very brief. Use your power to vote and whom would you believe has the ability to run our country.

This is the time to do so. Don’t let others make that choice for you. As a female, I have a strong desire to see a new history in my country. It’s time for America to start a new chapter where women are not second class citizens, but equal.

As a person, I wouldn’t want a president that sees our country as the greatest negotiation deal. No, America like the rest of the countries around the world- it is not a business deal. Although I try to maintain neutrality or reserve my voice because politics like religion – someone will not be happy with me view- I cannot sit on my behind and ignore the bigger issue here.

Voting for a candidate that is racist, sexist, mocks, disrespects and bullies his way into the White House is unacceptable. Voting for a candidate that desires to build a wall would be a tragic repetition in history. Voting for a candidate that is playing another role outside of his reality show into real politics would be an irresponsible decision.

In the end, it is your choice. My decision is clear and obvious. The first time I voted, I was part of history. I hope that this being my third time voting, I and like many other voters mark a new chapter in our future history books.

It’s time America. What are you waiting for? Vote November 8th. Let’s make history one more time.

WTF: Olympics Edition!

Four years ago, I wrote a few articles about the London Olympics. One of my favorites articles was A Closer Look: London 2012 Funny Pics which were Photoshop pictures of the Olympics; however, this year, so much has occurred in Rio 2016, I personally didn’t feel the need to do this because I call this edition of these Olympics: WTF – Olympics Edition!

Zika Virus Fear

Before the Olympics started, a massive virus from Brazil made headlines. Many top athletes feared the possibility of Zika and decided to skip Rio. NBA stars: LeBron and Stephen Curry decided not to go to Rio. Although neither of them have stated the virus as being the primary reason; many sources have hypothesized this may have been a possibility.

Other athletes such as Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson voiced their concerns and didn’t go to Rio. Lastly, cyclist Tejay Vangarderen and his wife, Jessica are about to become parents. For her safety, the American cyclist decided stay home.

Black Market?

71 year-old, Patrick Hickey has been arrested for selling tickets over the black market! If this name doesn’t ring a bell, let me explain…Hickey is Europe’s top Olympic official. He’s no stranger to controversy because last year he answered his hotel door naked while police wanted to question him. As for now, this is a developing story.

400 – Meter Dive

American sprinter, Allyson Felix was seconds away to win the golden medal in the 400- Meter; however, Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller decided to dive into the finish line. Since there’s no loophole that prohibits a competitor to dive into the finish line; Felix won silver. I believe the IOC should take note and prohibit such act.

APTOPIX Rio Olympics Athletics



Bad Blood: Phelps Edition

South African Chad le Clos beat Michael Phelps in one the events in London. It’s four years later and le Clos is still on cloud nine. While the men waited for their turn, Phelps’ sat wearing his headphones (most likely listening to rap) to relax before his turn and Le Clos did everything to get Phelps’ attention. Like a child throwing spit balls during class. Le Clos danced, jumped and even changed his clothes in front of Phelps’ (thank goodness he was wearing his shorts!) Nonetheless, the main event came and Le Clos lost. He lost against Phelps and then later shared a triple tie as well. Would you like to dance again, Mr. Le Clos?


Mrs. Efron

Simone Biles came in as the favorite athlete for Rio. So far, the tiny giant has won several events and she has a move named after her. The Final Five won several events marking another historic moment in USA gymnastics. Today’s host, Hoda Kotb asked Zac Efron to come to Rio and meet Simone Biles.


Simone Biles on Twitter

After the final ended, The Final Five meet the actor. What made this surprise hilarious were the girls’ reactions. Laurie Hernandez immediately hugged Efron without blinking. Simone and the rest of the crew took several pictures with the 28 year-old actor. Now, that’s an awesome reward!

Tinder Regret

Joseph Schooling met his idol, Michael Phelps years ago. The child is now a grown man in college and he is also in Rio. In one of the events, Schooling beat Phelps and became a sensation. While Schooling celebrated his success, Sabryna Salazar realized she rejected an Olympic winner. She posted online their brief conversation calling it her biggest regret. Salazar is still in pain; Schooling and his girlfriend are celebrating his triumph.



 Russian Ban

Before August 5, IOC’s authorities found massive reports on Russian doping practices. Several athletes were banned from the summer and winter Olympics. Can athletes learn from Lance Armstrong? Steroids can only lead to all kinds of damage.


Ryan Lochte is known for his swimming talents, but he also known for being immature. Still, immaturity does not excuse him for causing major chaos in Rio for lying. The American swimmer was interviewed on the Today show and mentioned he and two of his teammates suffered an armed robbery. Of course, this news flew to Brazilian authorities and this unfolded into more problems because Ryan lied.



The real story is that Lochte and friends caused problems at a gas station before heading to the airport. Ryan has apologized for his childish behavior. Maybe the episode of 30Rock where Lochte appeared played some truth to his personality.

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Do I have a Dupe?

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might notice that I enjoy YouTube channels as much as I like anime; however, makeup gurus on YouTube are absolute geniuses.

I find it helpful when any of these channels feature dupes for high-end brands because it proves that the price tag doesn’t mean a thing. In some cases, the splurge is worth it. For instance, (this item is not about beauty, yet it stresses the point) a 5qt. Le Creusset  dutch oven is a high-end piece; however, in the log run, this brand has been in business since 1902 and it is because of the quality they are known for. That being said, same goes for makeup.

Kicking of this article is perhaps the most controversial brand that is still on the news because she’s part of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Of course, I’m writing about The Kylie Lip Kit- The kit has mixed reviews; nonetheless, this is not meant to throw shade at the brand, yet I’m not the first one to point out what others have done before.

This past May, a blogger known as Stephanie Nicole, compared each ingredient to its sister company, ColourPop Cosmetics. This young brand continuously has complaints because of its customer service. Regardless of the pessimistic launch, the brand still sells like fresh bread. However, many articles and YouTube beauty gurus have found it’s affordable match.

Read the full story featuring Stephanie Nicole’s discovery by clicking the link  Allure article

Although, I must point out that the pencil liners were top quality, but the liquid lipstick tells a different story. Moving away from its re-formulation, there are dupes that makes this new brand run for its money. Based on various suggestions is to buy their sister company line, ColourPop Cosmestics. Still, I found the best article that brings the best matches were from Seventeen Magazine and I picked the two most popular colors.

Click the link to read the full article from Seventeen Magazine

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes, $6  = Dolce K. $29


Seventeen Magazine

L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipcolor in Terra Cotta $9.45 = 22 $29


Seventeen Magazine

Now, in terms of eye shadows, I’ve used these brands Urban Decay, Wet n’ Wild and Maybelline and their eye palettes are quite similar.


Hence, this is a double dupe! Urban Decay: Naked 3 Palette retails for $54; however, for those that love to save money and are fond of these nudes and shimmery colors. I have two dupes, the first one is from Maybelline: The Blushed Nudes $8.98 and a much affordable version is from Wet n’ Wild: Au Naturel $5.62.

Continuing on the eye section, I have to share this little short story about eyeliners. Earlier this year, I get this cool reminder via e-mail by Sephora congratulating me for turning a year older and to not forget my birthday gift. If you don’t have a Sephora account (it’s free!) because they have great offers and their birthday gifts are never disappointing.

This year they gave a nice sample pack from Marc Jacobs. I have the Highliner Gel Eye Crayon: Blacquer 42 black 

I must say the NYC one is just a little bit opaque in comparison to the Marc Jacobs one. Overall, this is an excellent dupe. Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner $25 and NYC CityProof 24 Hr. Eyeliner Pencil 931 Black $3.99

Closing the eye chapter is the lovely mascara. I confess, I don’t use mascara as part of my everyday routine because I have severe allergies. Usually mascaras makes my eyes very watery and itchy. (Also, I’m somewhat lazy) There are two brands that I recommend for those that have sensitive eyes like me: Diorshow Waterproof Mascara and Chanel Inimitable Waterproof .

More than a dupe, these are other alternatives if you want fuller lashes and pay less than $30 for a mascara. As a fair warning, I have not tried these brands, but some of my friends have raved about the Cover Girl The Super Sizer because it adds volumes and adds length to the eye lash. It retails for $6.00 which is a good price! Another option is the Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Wear Mascara and it is $7.99.

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Jumping into foundation and powder, when I graduated from high school, I wanted to wear makeup; however, I wanted a brand that was known for their excellence and this is how I landed on MAC. I still remember I received three items: powder, eye shadow, and a blush. I have not found an exact dupe to their  Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation $27. Yet, there are two dupes that are close to this line in terms of durability and it sits well on the skin: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder $4 and Revlon Photo Ready Powder $10.66


Lastly, I have to broadcast that I wear lipstick as my blush because I feel it stays longer on my face and it looks natural. If you want to consider this part as a second lip dupe, I completely understand.

So here’s my final dupe because I do not use cream blush which I know there are excellent brands out there; however, I believe lipstick does a better job. I wear the Smashbox : Be Legendary Posy Pink $21, but for a while I thought I lost it and I had to buy a quick replacement.

It was the end of the month, so bills were due and as a result my funds were a bit low. And this dupe is a bit brighter, yet it looks very similar to its high-end version. I use the Wet n’ Wild Mega Last Lip #967 Dollhouse Pink $4.

Hence, this is the detailed list of all of the brands that were mentioned on this article

High-End Drugstore
Kylie: Dolce K $29.00                           (Without Shipping cost) NYX in Cannes $6.00
Kylie: 22 $29.00 (Without Shipping cost) L’Oreal Terra Cotta $9.45
Urban Decay: Naked 3 $54.00 Maybelline: The Blushed Nude $8.98
Wet n’ Wild Au Naturale $5.62
Marc Jacobs Eyeliner $25.00 NYC: CityProof 24 Hr. Eyeliner $3.99
Diorshow $27.50 Cover Girl: The Super Sizer $6.85
Chanel Inimitable $32.00 Physicians Formula Organic Mascara $7.96
MAC: Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation $27.00 Rimmel: Stay Matte Pressed Powder $4.00
Revlon: Photo Ready Pressed Powder $10.66
Smashbox: Be Legendary Posy Pink $21.00 Wet n’ Wild: #967 Dollhouse Pink $4.00
Total: $244.50 (Without tax) Total: $67.51 (Without tax)
Difference: $176.99 (Without tax)

This is the end of the dupes. Any other options better out there? Let me know.

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Feast of Fiction

Back in  2011, Feast of Fiction debuted on YouTube. 607,615  subscribers later, the lively chefs: Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams recreate meals that appear on fictional series to reality.

Honestly, how come I didn’t find this awesome channel before? It’s never too late! A few weeks ago, I couldn’t sleep and I’m glad I had my eyes wide open. It is not a secret that I adore YouTube channels that feature cooks; however, Feast of Fiction reaches a specific population of fantasy fanatics.

The enthusiastic cooks have aired five seasons. Many of their episodes have  featured recipes from anime series like Pokemon or Naruto to Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon classics such as The Rugrats.

But the series have also recreated recipes from series or films featuring humans too! Breaking Bad and  Harry Potter are examples.

Certainly, it is not your average food show, it is fresh and a real treat to watch.

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