Walking with Pride


I partnered with KIWI for this post, however all opinions are my own.

It’s no secret that I love to wear heels.  I think my mom bought me my first pair of heels when I was about 12 years old.  In fact, I distinctly remember what they looked like:  a white pair of faux leather kitten pumps.  I LOVED those heels. The rest is history, and the heel height never got shorter!

As I’ve gotten older, heels have become somewhat of a confidence booster.  My genetic fate proved to not favor my height, thus I remained vertically challenged. Not a problem, however, when you can wear 4 or 5 inch platform heels!  And boy was I good at walking in them!  Occasionally I would wear a pair that made me sound like a clydesdale when walking (aka not graceful), but for the most part, I like to think that I have always been most graceful when walking in heels.

As I have come up in the ranks of academia, I found that I was resorting to heels to help give me confidence I needed when at scientific meetings, when talking to peers, and simply for making me feel like I was “dressing the part”.  There is a stark difference between how I feel when I wear flats and how I feel when I wear heels.  I actually feel SUPER short and self-conscious when I’m wearing flats.  Not to mention, being short and female in a male-dominated field makes it even a greater challenge.  People literally look down at me to speak to me, and something about that body language really gets to me.  Wearing heels, on the other hand, even if they are 2-3″ heels, give me that extra little boost, and they really seem to make all the difference.  It enables me to walk with confidence and pride.

As a result, I have become quite the heel-wearer and thus, heel-buyer.  I have SO many pairs of heels.  They aren’t all expensive pairs, but, because I don’t wear them often, they tend to last longer.  I also know when to be practical and NOT wear heels.  Especially when I know I will have to walk long distances.  So, on those occasions, I like to wear comfy sneakers.  Have you noticed that sneakers also give a little bit of added height??



All photography by Ron Pride Photography

Between my numerous pairs of shoes, and the 1-2 pairs of sneakers I own, I make sure to take great care of my shoes so that they will last and not easily damage.  My husband swears by KIWI shoe polish, and I have since become a fan of this KIWI Protect-All.  In fact, I carry it in my purse.  Do you remember me getting stuck in the building at work last year because I was wearing a pair of suede heels and I didn’t want the water to damage them?!  Well, I have since become savvy and taken action.  I’m in love with this KIWI Protect-All.  It sprays on lightly, doesn’t have a super strong scent, and in all, works-great to protect outer surfaces, shoes included.

Have you tried it before??  Let me know if you have!  If you haven’t, make sure to check out the KIWI website for more information. For those who haven’t used the spray before, simply remember to 1) shake the can well before use; 2) hold can upright approximately 15 to 20 cm from surface; 3) spray the entire surface evenly and thoroughly; 4) if using on leather or suede, let the leather or suede dry at room temperature. Actually, I bet it would also work well on handbags now that I think of it…  Hmm, sounds like another blog post idea for the future! I’ll keep you posted!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!


A ‘Chic’ Easter Basket – Spring at Kohl’s

coverDisclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kohl’s and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions and text are all mine.

Gifting is one of my all-time favorite things.  I love to see people’s reactions when they receive the gift – and let’s face it, shopping for the gift(s) is also a ton of fun.  This year, I wanted to put together a ‘chic’ easter basket (canasta de Pascua, as we say in ‘Español’) and checked out my local Kohl’s store for ideas.  Kohl’s is a one-stop-shop place. Makeup, shoes, clothes, accessories, furniture, household items…I mean they have it all!!  And if you consider candy food, then they also have food to sell.  It’s rather amazing!

Their sales are also quite impressive.  Currently, a Kohl’s cash promo is in effect, wherein you get “cash back” for purchases you make in store which can be used at a later date.  I went shopping for easter outfits yesterday and got $20 in Kohl’s cash to use starting next week.  Score!

So, I went to the store and got to work! I knew I wanted to include a variety of things, so I visited all of the accessories departments and the makeup/fragrance department as well. They carry baskets, basket filler, plastic eggs, candy, and everything else you would need to fill your basket.  They also had adorable Star Wars-themed baskets for kids that they would love!!  If you follow me on Snapchat (ChicInAcademia) you saw some of these things.  Note: I went in the store yesterday, and all the baskets were 60% off!!  Check out what I decided on for my ‘Chic’ Easter Basket:

basket and grass


Easter Items

Easter basket

Basket items:  Lauren Conrad necklace, bracelets, and aviators; JLO CZ studs; Federic Fekkai Hair Fragrance; EOS hand lotion, Kleenex, and lip balm pack; two Essie nail polishes from their new Spring line; a polka dot jewelry roll; and a ceramic plate to place jewelry and other baubles on!  Also, the top I’m wearing is from the Lauren Conrad line. I’m obsessed with tops that with neck ties, and hello, can you pass up a good peter pan laced collar??  I think not.   This one was a winner!

This Sunday, I’ll also post an outfit photo with the dress I found for Easter (also from Kohl’s!).  A photo of the dress is currently Instagram.  It fit like a glove, has pockets, and was only $21!!  Can you say AH-mazing?!

Hubby didn’t get a chance to come into the store with me, but they also have lots of outfits for men.  I did manage to stop by the boy’s department and I got the boys some shorts for Sunday as well, so know that you can get your Easter baskets, Easter decor, and family outfits all taken care of at once! You’re welcome. 😉

Wishing all of you a Happy Easter (Feliz Pascua)!!  And to those of you who don’t observe the holiday…an excellent Sunday!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!




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JOHNSON’S® Save the Children

Disclaimer:  I partnered with Johnson & Johnson® and Latina Bloggers Connect for this post, however all opinions expressed are my own.


As a momma of two, I am a huge proponent of campaigns that help better the lives of children everywhere. Today, I have the unique opportunity to share with you information aboutJohnson & Johnson® Save the Children Campaign and I hope that you too will be drawn to it and spread the word about it!

JOHNSON’S® has been a longstanding partner of Save the Children, a global organization dedicated to early childhood development with recognized leaders, quality programs and a proven model that invests in childhood every day, in times of crisis and for the future.

Like JOHNSON’S®, Save the Children believes in giving children a healthy start.  The organizations know that by transforming children’s lives now, we can help change the course of their future.

Through its pioneering programs, Save the Children invests in childhood right from the start, helping to ensure girls and boys in need have the best chance to succeed.

Every day, millions of babies may miss opportunities critical to growth and development due to poverty, lack of early stimulation,poor health/nutrition, and lack of early education. [1]

By age three, 85% of a baby’s brain is already developed and the brain forms critical connections that set the foundation for future healthy development.[2]  If the opportunity to have an impact on a child’s development during this time is missed, it becomes very difficult to correct later on.[3]  In addition, U.S. children living in poverty hear an average of 30 million fewer words addressed to them than children from more affluent, professional families. Even children from working-class families may hear 15 million fewer words than children from wealthier families. This word deficit illustrates why children in need start school 18 months developmentally behind, struggle to catch up (many never do) and have reduced opportunities in school and later in life.

Synapses are the connections between brain cells that allow them to communicate. During childhood, synapses form more rapidly than any other time, and the more brain building experiences the child has, the stronger these connections can become.[4]  In children who lack such experiences, these connections can become weaker.[5]

For nearly 15 million children living in poverty in America, they enter kindergarten unready to succeed. Four-year-olds from low-income families are often 18 months developmentally behind their peers. And as these children progress through school, they risk falling so far behind that they can never catch up.[6]

In the U.S, there is a lack of high-quality early childhood and supplemental educational services in many rural areas. Children living in poverty and with little to no access to early education are already 18 months behind developmentally by age 4.

So, I invite you to watch and share the video above, and select Save the Children® through the Donate a Photo app to share your own pics as well. When you do,  and use the #SoMuchMore hashtag – JOHNSON’S® will triple its donation in support of early childhood education programs. So, share the video and help children achieve a better life!!  The Donate a Photo app is available on the App Store and Google Play.  If you choose to donate to Save the Children via the app the donation is tripled!!  Help me spread the word, friends!  The future of our children is at stake!

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Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!


[1] Save the Children. (2014). Save the Children and Children’s Early Learning: Our International and U.S. Qualifications, Programs and Leadership.

[2] Save The Children, Early Childhood Development Fact Sheet, April 2015

[3] Save The Children, Early Childhood Development Fact Sheet, April 2015

[4] http://www.urbanchildinstitute.org/why-0-3/baby-and-brain

[5]  https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/brain_development.pdf

[6] Save The Children, Early Childhood Development Fact Sheet, April 2015

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnson & Johnson and Latina Bloggers Connect. The opinions and text are all mine.