The most comfortable wedge EVER!

What is a wedge anyway?  Well, in fashion, and when speaking of shoes, a wedge is a shoe with a thick heel which tapers to a thin sole towards the toe box.  They come in all types of materials and colors, but rarely does one find one that is not only comfortable to wear, but also stylish!  Cue: the Anne Klein Sports Wedge.

I first discovered this “best thing since sliced bread” shoe after a purchase at TJ Maxx.  I saw them in the shoe racks and found comfort immediately after trying them on.  I paid a mere $34.99 for them and I’m telling ya, I have worn these shoes SO much!  They are my favorite travel shoes because I was walk comfortably in them for long distances (e.g., walking through airports), and because they are rather stylish, they work well for meetings and conferences as well.  Here is the pair I own:

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This pair is called the Anne Klein Sport Davniar, and I have found limited sizes on Amazon and eBay.  Otherwise, it looks like this particular style might have been discontinued.  However, my friend Marcy of Magic Marcy’s Blog, purchased several pairs of other Anne Klein Sports Wedge and has LOVED them!!  Check out her collection:


She had three additional colors in the mail when she sent me this pic!  Another colleague of mine recently also shared her love for these wedges after I recommended them, so in my small – but highly significant – observational study of 2 individuals, the Anne Klein Sports Wedge appears to be a hit.😉

Let me know if you happen to wear these wedges already or if you plan to try them out.  I’d love to get your feedback!

The most comfortable wedge...EVER!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!




My Favorite Laptop Bags

A colleague of mine recently asked me for laptop bag suggestions.  Actually, she’s quite an amazing colleague and has a blog of her own!  She was instrumental in helping me find work-life balance at a time when I was knee-deep in my PhD studies, working full-time, and mother to a less than a year old son.  Life was beyond cray.  But, she helped things in perspective.  Her advice has made all the difference and part of the reason I haven’t fallen off the track and can now sanely claim to be an assistant professor on the tenure track.

So, when she asked me for fashion advice, I thought: Hello!  This is your time to pay her back!!  Because naturally, my fashion advice will likely ALSO be life changing.  LOL.  I kid, but hopefully it will at the very least make her a tiny bit happy.🙂

Anyway!  Here are a few of my favorites on the market right now:

Laptop Bags

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

I personally own bags 2, 3, and a variation of 10.  I recently attended training in San Francisco where I had the option to walk to and from the training – about 1.5 mile walk from my hotel.  We were advised to pack a backpack for this purpose.  I don’t own a backpack.  But, the Lilly Jade bag pictured third in the visual above can hang over your shoulder AND also function as a backpack.  So that’s what I used.  It worked really well!

Otherwise, I also traveled with my Louis Vuitton Neverfull and found that to be quite handy as well; albeit different of course, because I was not able to wear it as a backpack. Anyway, that’s why I included backpacks in this post, even though they aren’t technically laptop bags.  Most of the true laptops bags I found online were quite boring, hence the variety of types of bags featured above.

Whenever I am shopping for a work or laptop bag, I usually ask myself the following questions:

  1. Does the bag strap fit comfortably over my shoulder?  You should be able to answer ‘yes’ to this even when wearing a super thick coat.
  2. Is it heavy?  If you are carrying a dinosaur computer, then you don’t want to start off by carrying it in an already heavy bag.  Light weight is key!
  3. Will it scratch my computer if I throw it in without a case?  This is also important for me because I don’t always remember to put my laptop in a case.  So, lots of zippers and the like are a deal-breaker for me.
  4. Does it match my style?  What colors and types of clothing do you wear most often?  If you tend to dress up for work, options 4 and 8 above might not be for you.  But really, who are we kidding? Number 8 and it’s über fashionable logo will go with ANY outfit, so it’s a done deal in my book.  Go Stanford!!😀
  5. How much is the bag?  Above, I included bags from Target, Nordstrom, Lilly Jade, Kohl’s, Louis Vuitton, Tumi, Tory Burch and Kate Spade.  Some of the luxury brands will run a tab close to $2K.  If that’s not your cup of tea, something like the Target or Denko bags might be more for you (<$100).  But, keep in mind that even if you lust after the designer bags, you might be able to find them for a lot less on eBay, Fashionphile, or other similar consignment websites and shops.  So, not all is lost just because the original retail price is out of your price range!  Don’t give up hope!!
  6. Did you not find what you were looking for in the women’s department?  Worry not!  Look in the men’s department.  Don’t pay the pink tax if you don’t have to!  In fact, two of the bags above were found in the men’s department.  I’ll let you figure out which ones.

So there you have it!  Note that most of the bags pictured above come in other colors, but for some, black seemed the default color, so that’s what I included.  Click the numbers under the graphic above and you’ll be guided to the shop-able pages for each.

Do you have a bag you love to carry your laptop in that is not pictured in the graphic below?  Comment below so we can all learn about other options!  Otherwise, happy shopping!

PS – Don’t forget to use eBates if you are going to shop online:  That’s my referral link if you decide to sing up!

PPS- After writing this post, I learned about Lo & Sons.  This bag looks like something I might get for myself!  Check it out if the bags above didn’t quite strike your fancy!


Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

I’m on the cover of Redbook Magazine!!


Can you believe it?! I cannot. It is still very surreal. I have all of you to thank because you all took the time to vote. Thank you so much for that!! You afforded me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful!!

You can read a little about how the process began here, but what I haven’t told you is what the selection process was like. I was sitting in the gate area waiting to board a plane after giving a talk at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Now let’s back up a bit. This talk at NIH was the first talk I’ve given at NIH…EVER, so not only was I relieved it was over, but it went well, so I was also on a major nerd high! Then, I am sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight back home and get an email saying that I was selected to be among the 6 women featured on the September issue of Redbook Magazine. I mean, talk about an amazing day!!! It was out of control, crazy amazing!!

The photoshoot was to happen in New York – of course – and needed to also happen ASAP. It so happened that the shoot was originally scheduled for a Sunday and Monday, BUT, I was scheduled to be in New Orleans the Monday of the photoshoot to present my research at a national conference, so I pleaded that the dates change. Thankfully, a second winner also had a conflict, so the shoot was pushed back a day and I would fly out Monday morning to make my presentation at noon that Monday.


So, off I flew to New York on Saturday afternoon. I had a long layover at the airport, so I managed to get a much needed pedi. Mani’s would be provided on site, but my feet needed some major work, so I started off the weekend with some much needed pampering.  I arrived in NYC to an amazing hotel, super cute room, and off I went to Hearst Tower for fittings.

That’s where I met many of the women that comprise the fashion team. They were super sweet and had outfits picked out for me based on feedback I sent them, as well as outfits I post on Instagram! Many of the pieces were RIGHT ON POINT. WOW. At least three of the outfits I tried on during the fittings made it to the photoshoot the next day.


As I had not met the other winners, I picked up Chipotle and went back to my room to work, because…SCIENCE!

The next morning, bright and early, I walked into the lobby of the hotel room to meet the women. All 5 women were sooooo very nice!! We were escorted by private car to the photoshoot location, where we were greated by two all-white rooms with sets, props, cameras, and a full-on beauty section. They were the sets you see on TV! We had makeup people, nail people, hair people, people helping us dress and undress, seamstresses making last minute adjustments – I mean, PEOPLE WHERE EVERYWHERE. Omg, and we also had craft service! The food was delish.

We arrived on set around 730am and left the set after 5pm sometime. It literally took all day. It was SOOOOO much fun and though I know it will likely never happen again, I’m hopeful it will because it felt so nice to be pampered.  I went back to my room, had a quick birthday dinner for Megan (one of the other winners) at the restaurant around the corner, and one quick walk to Times Square later, I was back in my room to pack and get ready for my 3am pickup to head to JFK on a direct flight to New Orleans for my scientific presentation.  Talk about my worlds colliding (and a run-on sentence, lol!)!

My Redbook photoshoot experience ended the night before my presentation, but because we needed to maintain everything confidential until the cover was released,  I was unable to post any pics until now.  So, here are a few behind-the-scenes pics from the weekend:




Someone recently asked me: “On a scale from manuscript acceptance to tenure and promotion, how does this cover fare?”  Well, it’s quite the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I really have to say that it equates to getting tenure and promotion in a way.  Of course, a LOT more work goes into getting T&P, but both are likely once-in-a-lifetime occurrences.  I also have to say, what I’ve loved the most about getting to be on this cover is the response I’ve gotten from people I love.  My husband, above and beyond and undeniably my biggest fan, has been so excited to see the cover on newsstands.  My friends have shared the cover on social media, which has warmed my heart more than I can describe in words.


Blogger friend, Ashley Mills Hill!


Good friend, blogger, and photographer, Mariana Pimiento!



Amazingly, a couple young girls who have learned about the cover have told their mothers that they want to become scientists like Ms. Bertha because she is a scientist and a cover model, and that is just “cool”.  I mean, seriously: how much better does it get than that?!  I don’t think it does.  My oldest son randomly tells people that his mommy is on the cover of a magazine.  I love that he’s proud of me for that.  After all, I hope that all I do inspires him and others to believe that they can achieve all that they put their minds to AND that one should not be limited to a single identity.  As a multi-hyphenate, my roles don’t all experience success all at once, but it gives me great satisfaction when I experience success in any one at any given time.  Inspiring others to do the same, or simply believe that they can, gives me great satisfaction.

At the onset of 2016, I resolved to get Chic in Academia in a national magazine.  I endeavored for a small mention, didn’t even forsee a photo of myself associated with the mention.  Never did I imagine landing the cover, nor having a small spread in a national magazine.  This is just beyond surreal.

RB_080416_RWSA_CoverThere are a couple interviews with Redbook that are in the works for their online content.  I’ll be sure to share them when I get the chance.  I share a bit more about the insecurities i grew up with as a darker-skinned, overweight, in-need of braces, Mexican girl growing up in a world which idolized everything but women who looked like me.  Now, hopefully, girls who look like I did when growing up can indeed see themselves and not someone who looks completely unlike them, as beautiful.

In closing, I thank you all for taking the time to vote and support me through this process.  Most of all, thank you for continuing to enable my sartorial endeavors and my academic ones as well, equally. THANK YOU!!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!